June 18, 2024

Before the Boston Red Sox season began on March 28, CEO and president Sam Kennedy disclosed that the team was in extension talks with some of its young players.

Tanner Houck’s recent comments hint that he was one of the players involved in negotiations with the front management. According to MassLive, the Red Sox approached Houck about a contract extension, but the two parties did not reach an agreement.

Kennedy expressed uncertainty about whether contract talks would continue into the regular season, but immediately after Ceddanne Rafaela’s agreement, Craig Breslow reported that the Red Sox were not close to finalizing any more deals. The front office’s conversation with Houck could be one of the tabled discussions.

“(We had) discussions, but we’re at where we are now,” Houck stated. “I put that behind me whenever we shook hands and said, ‘Let’s go out and win as many games as possible.'” The business aspect remains the business side. “If you throw 200 innings and make 30 quality starts, it will take care of itself.”

Tanner Houck shares that Red Sox approached him with extension, but they never reached a deal

Boston Red Sox 2021 Review: Tanner Houck can do it all - Over the Monster


Houck is well on his approach to reaching 200 innings. The righty has put up impressive numbers early in the season, and a potential extension could be a driving factor. Houck has a 2.17 ERA in 58 innings, striking out 57 and walking 11.

Houck’s strong start to the season is highlighted by a 94-pitch complete-game shutout, during which he demonstrated to the rest of MLB his abilities. If the Red Sox undervalued him in their preseason extension talks, they may have made a significant mistake.

Boston has made pathetic offers to extension and free-agent candidates in previous years. Teoscar Hernández turned down an opportunity to play for the Red Sox because they offered him half as much as the Dodgers did, while Triston Casas’ agent has turned down many front-office offers.

Prior to his long-term rib injury, Casas intended to use the season to show the front office what they could miss out on if they did not sign him to an extension. Houck appears to be doing the same, and his domination has garnered attention throughout the league. He has pitched so brilliantly this season that he may be priced out of the Red Sox’s new, limited budget.

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