Brayan Bello's contract extension proves Red Sox should be patient with Jarren Duran

Jarren Duran is an emerging star, but the Red Sox shouldn't look to give him a contract extension so soon.
Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

Jarren Duran is arguably the hottest hitter in Boston right now. He's up to .356/.429/.603 in the month of June and is making a heck of an argument to earn one of the starting outfield spots for the American League All-Star squad.

With the way Duran has been playing, Boston Red Sox fans are beginning to clamor for Craig Breslow to dish out a contract extension to the emerging star. However, despite all that Duran has going for him, it's in the Sox's best interest to hold off on any potential contract discussions.

If we knew that Duran was going to play at this level for the next five to seven years, every Red Sox fan out there would think it's a no-brainer to lock him up before he gets even more expensive.

But the fact is that Duran is already 27 and Boston has him under team control through his age 31 season. The Sox are already locked into Duran's prime years at below-market rates. There's no need to extend him into his mid-30s.

The Red Sox should hold off on a contract extension for Jarren Duran

Plus, as Red Sox fans are all too aware, these contract extensions don't always play out the way we'd like. Red Sox Nation doesn't need to look any further than Brayan Bello to see how they can go poorly, at least initially.

Bello was signed to a $55 million deal in the offseason but has regressed sharply this year. He currently has a 4.83 ERA and is struggling to find the strike zone most nights. He's yet to post an ERA under 4.20 in a season and while he's still young, he's got almost $53 million left on the deal after this year.

On top of that, fans must consider the way the Sox have operated recently. Some fans may not agree with the payroll restrictions or the budget John Henry has set, but that's the reality of Boston's front office in recent years.

Per Cot's Contracts, the Sox have an estimated CBT figure of $135 million for 2025. They have a few key players entering the first year of arbitration next year, including Duran, Tanner Houck, and Kutter Crawford, all of whom will require significant raises.

Kenley Jansen, Tyler O'Neill, Chris Martin, and Nick Pivetta are all free agents at the end of the year. Losing all four will cut about $39 million off the books, but they've all been valuable contributors to the 2024 team and need to be replaced in some capacity.

So while the Red Sox have a good chunk of money coming off the books at the end of the year, they'll also have several holes to fill and only so many internal options to fill them with.

It's sensible to conclude that the Sox should hold off on any contract talks with Duran. They're better off keeping him on his arbitration schedule and focusing their financial resources elsewhere.

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