While Lin stressed that those familiar with the discussions have characterized a final agreement as unlikely, both teams appear to have legitimate interest, with the talks focusing on the Padres sending a significant number of prospects as well as outfielder Wil Myers to Boston.
Betts, 27, is among the best players in baseball, having been worth more wins above replacement (WAR) than every MLB player over the last three seasons other than Mike Trout.
Myers, 29, posted a negative WAR last season, notching just 104 hits in 435 at bats.
For the Red Sox, unloading Betts — a superstar free agent to-be — for multiple prospects would be an immediate infusion of talent to a depleted farm system that features just one player ranked in the top-100 on MLB Pipeline.
Beyond adding future talent, exchanging Betts for Myers would have positive financial ramifications for Boston as well. The Red Sox currently have $230 million in salary tied up next season, including Betts’ one-year, $27-million deal — putting them over the league’s $208-million luxury-tax threshold.