Boston's new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has placed a large price tag on Betts in trade talks this winter - a cost perceived by some rival evaluators as too high even for the former AL MVP, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.
The Red Sox are telling other teams any Betts deal will also include left-hander David Price and the $96 million left on his contract, sources told Olney. After that, they also want two high-end prospects as the center of the trade.
If such a deal were found, the team acquiring Betts and Price would be adding $59 million in salary for the 2020 season alone.
Price's name has swirled in rumors all winter with the Red Sox looking to decrease payroll and reset their luxury-tax penalties. The 34-year-old has three years left on his deal and will earn $32 million annually. He does not have a no-trade clause.
Betts, who hit .295/.391/.524 with 29 homers and a league-leading 135 runs scored in 2019, signed a $27-million contract with the Red Sox earlier this month - a record for an arbitration-eligible player. The 27-year-old is slated to reach free agency next winter, and there has been no progress on a contract to keep him in Boston long term.
The likelihood of a Betts deal appears to have decreased in recent weeks. A report at the new year suggested the Red Sox are not actively shopping him, and Bloom said this week he expects the four-time All-Star to be with the team on Opening Day.
Whether he finishes the year in Boston remains to be seen, as an in-season trade remains possible should the Red Sox scuffle out of the gate. Rival executives told Olney they believe Betts' trade value won't change in the months leading up to the July 31 trade deadline.