4 Boston Red Sox who should be extended next after Brayan Bello got paid

With the Boston Red Sox extending Brayan Bello, there are four other players they should look into paying next.

Sep 20, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Brayan Bello (66) delivers to
Sep 20, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Brayan Bello (66) delivers to / Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
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1. The Red Sox are already talking to Tanner Houck about a possible extension

Shortly after the Bello extension was announced, Tanner Houck told WEEI's Rob Bradford that he's talked to the Red Sox about a potential extension of his own. Nothing was imminent at the time, but an extension is, at the very least, in the cards.

A potential Houck extension is interesting because he has more experience than everyone else on this list yet he has yet to establish himself. This past season was a struggle for the right-hander, as he posted a 5.01 ERA in 21 starts and 106 innings pitched. He did miss two months after being hit in the face with a line drive which certainly impacted things, but Houck has been up and down over the course of his career, especially as a starting pitcher.

As a starter, Houck has a 4.17 ERA in 41 appearances, a far cry from his 2.68 ERA as a reliever. A lot of his struggles have come as games have progressed. Take this season for example. In innings 1-3 Houck had a 2.71 ERA. In innings 4-6 that ERA shot up to 7.93. Due to his struggles in the middle innings, he only appeared in the seventh inning once, and allowed two runs in that inning.

The stuff is excellent. Houck is armed with five pitches including a tremendous slider and a sinker which helps him generate tons of ground balls. He ranked in the 89th percentile in GB% in 2023 per Baseball Savant.

An extension for Houck makes sense as it should come at a cheap cost given the fact that he's still very unproven. The hope would be for him to be a starter for the future, but even if that doesn't pan out, he's proven he can pitch very well in the bullpen. Giving him a cheap extension to buy out his arbitration and a year or two of free agency can wind up being very smart for the team.

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