Rafael Devers, Red Sox finalize 11-year, $331M extension

A third baseman Raphael Devers And the Boston Red Sox are finalizing an 11-year, $331 million contract extension, sources told ESPN, that would prevent the 26-year-old star from reaching free agency this year and would be the longest and largest guarantee ever offered. Right.

The deal, which is expected to be signed Wednesday night, would be huge for the third baseman, and comes amid a difficult winter for the Red Sox, who have been bereft for a long time. Xander Bogaerts To San Diego in free agency nearly three years after trading star right fielder Mookie Bets For the Los Angeles Dodgers. Offering Devers a deal that was much longer than Manny Ramirez’s eight-year contract and 50% larger than David Price’s $217 million deal was enough for the two-time All-Star to agree to shepherd the Red Sox from last place in the American League. East and back to contention.

The deal will begin in 2023 and extend through the 2033 season, sources said. The one-year, $17.5 million deal Devers signed earlier in the week to avoid arbitration will be superseded by the long-term contract.

Devers debuted with Boston in 2017 as a 20-year-old and quickly explained why scouts adore his bat so much. His left-handed swing was a perfect fit for Fenway Park, along with the Green Monster and home run doubles to right field. Devers’ intelligence has only grown. In 2022, he hit .295/.358/.521 with 27 home runs, 88 RBIs and a career-best OPS+ of 141.

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It was similar to his 2021 season, in which Devers hit 38 home runs, and 2019, when he led the major leagues with 359 total bases as a 22-year-old. With the losses of Bogaerts and Betts, that makes him the perfect candidate for long-term retention. Initial negotiations for a contract with Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Rep. 1’s Nelson Montes de Oca, Devers’ agent, were fruitless.

It’s unclear whether the backlash of losing Bogarts and Betts — and losing — had any impact on the deal’s completion. But on Monday, fans cheered for John Henry as Fenway Park hosted the majestic Winter Classic, which saw the Red Sox snap their 86-year World Series drought and give the franchise three more championships.

Bogarts was seen walking away with an offer in the tens of thousands of dollars, specifically designated for the Red Sox job Jeter Downs, a few days later the top prospect in Betts’ contract will return. Bogerts, 30, was, like Devers, a homegrown star: five Silver Sluggers, four All-Star appearances and two World Series rings. The concept of a long-term lefty with Bogaerts and Devers has become natural to the Red Sox fan base, having finished last in an ALCS appearance in two of the past three seasons.

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With Bogarts gone, attention naturally turned to Devers, who benefited greatly from the megadeals awarded this winter. Aaron Judge New York topped the list with $360 million from the Yankees. Tree Turner Bogaerts received $300 million from Philadelphia and $280 million from the Padres. And Carlos Correa A couple have agreed to deals worth more than $300 million, although medical conditions have limited his status.

Beyond Bogarts this season, the World Series hero Nathan Ewaldi Texas went to the Rangers, and the Red Sox failed to sign several free agent targets. Instead, the Red Sox signed Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida to a five-year, $90 million contract, reallocating resources throughout the roster by adding relievers. Kenley Johnson (two years, $32 million) and Chris Martin (two years, $17 million), third baseman Justin Turner $21 million over two years and a starter Corey Kluber One year and $10 million.

Devers will be the cornerstone of the roster and the face of the franchise for the Red Sox’ new era. Although the third baseman has improved defensively in this career, he can move to first base or designated hitter. But as long as his swing and production are a metaphor for what he’s done, it doesn’t matter what position he plays.

ESPN statistics and information contributed to this report.

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