Brayan Bello is a rare commodity for the Boston Red Sox.

It’s the reason the franchise properly invested in him on Thursday, officially signing him to a six-year contract extension, per a team release.

The team has had several frontline starters come and go at Fenway Park, though a majority were acquired in external additions. That has set the stage for homegrown talents like Jon Lester to perform at a high level and stand out as a success for the program.

Lester was the last quality starting pitcher developed in-house before Bello’s debut in 2022. Since then, Bello has taken the torch in building his importance in the Red Sox starting rotation. The right-hander shined after being signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic. He made a statement with a sub-2.00 ERA in the Dominican Summer League before honing his craft in his rise through the rankings of the minor leagues.

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Bello’s first full season in 2023 showed signs of what lies ahead for the young starter. He led the team in wins (12) and innings pitched (157.0), consistently giving quality starts. Bello was truly at his best when the Red Sox needed him on the mound the most during a stretch of the summer where he took the ball along with James Paxton and Kutter Crawford as the team’s only healthy starters. His arsenal, headlined by a solid sinker and changeup, created a buzz around his abilities on the mound. As his starts improved, Bello’s confidence was more visible in each outing, stepping up to deliver for Boston this early into his big-league career.

There’s still plenty of growth needed for Bello in the coming years. His ability to produce late in the season while improving his arsenal of pitches remains a priority entering this season. Nonetheless, the Red Sox extended a player who represents one of the game’s hottest commodities: a young starting pitcher with control and potential.

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Bello’s extension marks an important decision for the Red Sox. In baseball, there are some moves you just have to make.

That was certainly the case when extending star third baseman Rafael Devers. It was once again the case when the Red Sox identified Bello as a foundational talent and made the move to solidify a major part of Boston’s future.

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So, what do the Red Sox get with this contract?

They get a starter with plenty of potential to lead the rotation for years to come, specifically through the end of the 2020s, at a team-friendly cost through their commitment to a pillar of the young core.

Extending Bello now is a sensible move for the Red Sox, buying out his arbitration years and getting the extension to run through at least his first free-agent year in 2029. That could turn into two free-agent years if the Red Sox pick up a club option in 2030.

This style of contract structure with young franchise players had spread around the game in recent years, headlined by the Atlanta Braves. The 2021 World Series champions have found deals with Ronald Acuna Jr., Austin Riley and Spencer Strider among others to extend the timeline of their exciting young core into the next decade.

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The Red Sox have now adopted that style of business and could eventually benefit from doing a similar deal with Triston Casas at the right time.

For now, the focus around the team circles back to the future of their starter. Boston has already made one significant commitment to Bello this month through his extension. Could his next step be taking the ball on Opening Day for the Red Sox?

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images