The Boston Red Sox have outright admitted it will be challenging to keep both Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez while remaining under the payroll tax, but that doesn’t mean anything is guaranteed to happen.

Betts is about to enter his final year of arbitration before hitting free agency, while Martinez has an opt-out clause in his contract this winter. Many have speculated the Red Sox might try to trade Betts, who repeatedly has expressed a desire to test free agency.

SNY’s Matthew Cerrone wrote a piece published Monday about the Betts situation, speaking to a Boston source, two rival executives and an agent. All of them did agree on one thing.

“All said they expect Betts to be on the Red Sox next season, regardless of Martinez’s contract status,” Cerrone wrote.

The Red Sox have indicated they want Betts to be the cornerstone of the franchise for many years. Because of that, it seems unlikely they would just throw in the towel and move Betts because he doesn’t want to sign an extension this offseason, as is his right.

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