Third baseman Rafael Devers and the Boston Red Sox are finalizing an 11-year, $331 million contract extension, according to ESPN. The deal that keeps the 26-year-old star from reaching free agency this year and marks a more prolonged and more significant guarantee given by the franchise.
The deal, expected to be signed Wednesday night, comes amid a grueling winter for the Red Sox. The team lost shortstop Xander Bogaerts to San Diego in free agency nearly three years after trading right fielder star Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Offering Devers a contract much longer than Manny Ramirez’s eight-year deal and more than 50% larger than David Price’s $217 million contract was enough for the two-time All-Star to agree to take the Red Sox out of last place in the AL East position and back into contention.
The sources said the contract is expected to include the $17.5 million salary Devers agreed to earlier this week to avoid arbitration and extend another ten years beyond that.
Devers made his Boston debut at age 20 in 2017 and quickly illustrated why scouts loved his bat so much. His left-handed swing suited Fenway Park perfectly, with doubles hitting the Green Monster and home runs to right field. Devers’ insight has only grown. In 2022, he hit .295/.358/.521 with 27 home runs, 88 RBIs, and his career-best OPS+.
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. The consistency made him the perfect candidate to hang on for the long haul with the losses to Bogaerts and Betts, whose grit was one of his defining characteristics.
Early negotiations on a deal fell through, with Red Sox baseball chief Chaim Bloom and Devers’ agent Nelson Montes de Oca of Rep. 1 far apart in their assessments.