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 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 The one-year, $17.5 million deal Devers signed earlier in the week to avoid arbitration will be superseded by the long-term contract.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 an excellent OPS+.

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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 with Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Devers’ agent, Rep. 1’s Nelson Montes de Oca, over a contract 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 Red Sox owner John Henry as Fenway Park hosted the majestic Winter Classic.

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 a pair of World Series rings. The idea of ​​a long-term left side of the infield with him and Devers felt natural to the Red Sox fan base, which finished last in an ALCS appearance in two of the last three seasons.

With Bogarts out, attention naturally turned to Devers, who benefited greatly from the mega-deals handed out this winter. Aaron Judge New York topped the list with $360 million from the Yankees. Tree Turner $300 million from Philadelphia, while Bogarts received $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.

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Bogarts is a World Series hero this winter Nathan Ewaldi Texas left for 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 over the course of his 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 in his young career, it doesn’t matter what position he plays.

ESPN statistics and information contributed to this report.

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