Red Sox Save Face And Finally Lock Up Rafael Devers To A Monster 11 Year $331M Deal
Maybe it was the booing at the Winter Classic or losing two of the best homegrown players of this century in just the past couple seasons but John Henry and the Red Sox have appeared to sign Rafael Devers to a huge 11 year/$331 million contract extension pending a physical. This will pay an average amount of just over $30 million a year for the 26 year old two-time All-Star and 2018 World Series champion.
This appears to have happened quickly after Devers had just came to terms on a one year deal worth $17.5 million for the 2023 season. That avoided arbitration and apparently helped jumpstart talks for the longer-term deal. While it's obviously great news for Red Sox fans that they are finally keeping a great homegrown talent for possibly his entire career, it might be too little, too late at least in the short term. Historically speaking, Devers has a chance to pass Wade Boggs as the best third baseman in franchise history if he can stay healthy and productive for the extent of this contract.
After losing out on Xander Bogaerts last month, they absolutely had to re-sign Devers to a massive deal to save any face with fans. Red Sox brass can point to this signing as proof that Henry is not being cheap and the team is committed to winning but this isn't nearly enough for 2023. This is still a team that lost Bogaerts, Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Wacha and J.D. Martinez and replaced them with Masaka Yoshida, Corey Kluber and Justin Turner. They have improved the bullpen with Kenley Jansen but for a team that was already in last place last season with the 2nd worst ERA in the American League, it's not nearly enough.
This is a lineup with its best players being Devers, Trevor Story and Justin Turner. If that wasn't bad enough, the drop-off is huge after those guys. That's not enough. The best case scenario for Boston this season is going to be trading the veteran players like Turner or Enrique Hernandez during the season for as many prospects as they can get as they plan for beyond this season. With much better teams like the Blue Jays, Yankees and Rays in the division, this isn't a roster than seriously compete in 2023.
Devers is so good, he certainly can be a building block for future years but this isn't the NBA. One superstar isn't enough to sneak into the playoffs even if they have been expanded. It could be multiple seasons before the Red Sox are seriously competitive but this is a step in the right direction.
This is a great move. Unfortunately, it's also the first good major decision Chaim Bloom has made with the Red Sox. He's going to need to make many, many more.