I outright refuse to get fully upset about the Devers extension until he no longer plays for the Boston Red Sox. Mostly because I ultimately, truly, believe something will get done and he will be in Boston for the rest of his career. Now, that isn't how I handled the Mookie Betts saga, mostly because it appeared pretty clear that the writing was on the wall years before he was traded in a move that ultimately still infuriates me, but the logic that applied to that move does not apply to Devers whatsoever. The Red Sox were "unable" to re-sign Mookie because of the repeater penalties for being above the tax threshold. Of course they still could have signed him and stayed under that threshold, but I'm not here to rehash that despite Passan's best efforts. The Boston Red Sox do not have that problem moving forward with Rafael Devers OR Xander Bogaerts. In fact, looking forward, the Red Sox don't have much of a team projecting to next year's Opening Day roster. Alex Verdugo, Trevor Story, Bobby Dalbec, and Devers. That's it, that's the whole non-pitching roster. And Story is the only one making any actual money. The Red Sox have plenty of room to operate, and by operate I mean re-sign both Xander and Devers to monster deals without putting themselves in cap hell. Which, and I have to stress this, isn't a real thing. They will tell you it's a real thing through their state media controlled newspaper and television station, but it isn't. Ask the Dodgers, ask the Mets, it's not a real thing. Especially with the farm system rebuilt. Especially with Chaim Bloom's ability to take a Hunter Renfroe and turn him into two more top-20 prospects for the organization.
Chaim's quagmire this past offseason was to prove he could woo a top tier free agent, commanding top tier money, and get him to sign a nine-figure deal. That was accomplished, not for the sake of doing it, but in a way that made sense for both the team today and the team moving forward. That is ultimately why I believe a deal with Devers gets done. It doesn't hurt the team today nor tomorrow. Devers turns 26 in October. While Chaim has been outspoken about not believing in decade-plus term deals, Devers wont be geriatric when this one ends. There is no rush to move him off third base, his defense has improved every year and already in the early-goings appears to have taken another step. Chaim's next challenge is not only re-signing Devers but doing so in a way that somewhat reinvents the wheel. I say somewhat because the Mets and Twins already accomplished this feat during this past free agency period: high AAVs on shorter term deals. Where the reinvention comes in is knocking off those 11th, 12th and 13th years a la Betts, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. I see no reason why Devers would be against a nine year deal if the money is the same as it would be over 13 years. That's the key: the money must be the same. Nine years, $320 million sounds like a fuckton - it is. It's also loose change in couch cushions compared to what the Fenway Sports Group will bring in over those very same nine years.
There isn't a deal yet. It's frustrating, but there's a lot of time left on the shot clock. The idea of letting not one, but potentially three home grown All Stars walk out of unnecessary frugality is depressing as shit. Three core players that have produced on the largest of stages cannot leave with prime years still left in the tank. I'm as excited as anyone for the next group of guys marinating throughout the minors right now. But it's not their turn, and there's a decent chance it will never be their turn. Finding the MVP caliber talent is the hard part of the job. In Boston? Paying him should be the easy part.