Latest Mookie Betts Report Heightens Trade Speculation Entering GM Meetings

[NBC Sports] Mookie Betts says he won't visit White House with Red Sox
NBC Sports - Boston

The spotlight already was on Mookie Betts and the Boston Red Sox entering Major League Baseball's general manager meetings, which begin Monday in Arizona.

Jon Morosi's report Monday morning should intensify that spotlight.

Several MLB executives believe at least one of Betts, Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant will be traded this offseason, according to Morosi.

The Red Sox face a critical decision with Betts, who will become an unrestricted free agent following the 2020 season and is expected to demand a historically lucrative contract if Boston doesn't sign him to an extension this offseason.

The Indians and Cubs have a bit more leeway with Lindor and Bryant, who both will enter the final year of arbitration on their rookie deals next winter and become unrestricted free agents in 2020.

Like Betts, though, Lindor and Bryant are perennial All-Stars who will command hefty deals that Cleveland and Chicago may not be willing to pay.

New Red Sox chief baseball officer has some tricky math to sort out with Betts, however. Slugger J.D. Martinez just opted into his deal with Boston that will pay him $62.45 million over the next three years, and if Betts seeks a deal worth anywhere near the $35 million-per-year range next winter, the Red Sox likely won't be able to keep both players while staying under the $208 million luxury tax.

Baseball's top executives all will gather this week in Arizona, so expect Bloom and the Red Sox brass to be in the thick of conversations surrounding their 27-year-old star outfielder.

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