Red Sox and Rafael Devers Agree To a Long-Term Extension


Nick Wass / AP

The Boston Red Sox and their homegrown star third baseman, Rafael Devers, mutually agreed to an extension of 11 years, worth $331 million that will keep him in Boston until 2034 with no opt-outs and will not include a no-trade clause. The contract will keep Devers from reaching the free agent market in 2024 and it is the largest guaranteed contract the Red Sox have ever agreed to for one player, beating out left-handed pitcher David Price’s contract by over $100 million.

Devers’ extension comes amid a puzzling offseason for the Red Sox, as they lost their face of the franchise player, Xander Bogaerts, who signed an 11-year, $280 million contract with the San Diego Padres as well as fan favorites J.D Martinez and Nathan Eovaldi. The contract is the tenth largest guarantee in MLB history and Devers will get a $31.55 million average annual value (AAV) per year. That puts him comfortably in the top 20 for contracts given to major leaguers for AAV behind other superstars like Mets starting pitchers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, plus the reigning American League MVP Aaron Judge.

Devers, who is from the Dominican Republic, signed with the Red Sox as a 16-year-old teenager in August of 2013 with a $1.5 million signing bonus, which is about average for a prospect like Devers not born in the United States. MLB scouts took note of Devers’ play in the minor leagues as they ranked him in the top 20 in the top 100 prospects list in both 2016 and 2017. Devers played his first major league game at just 20 years old. He played above expectations, with a triple slash line of .284/.338/.482, and a 110 wRC+, which indicated that he was 10% better than the average major league hitter. From 2019-2022, Devers posted a triple slash line of .292/.352/.532 while hitting 108 home runs and a 132 wRC+, ranking him in the top 25 hitters in the league for that period. He also has the most extra-base hits since 2019 with 264 of them. 

The extension of Devers comes as a glimmer of happiness for fans because they had to see some of the core players from the 2018 World Series winning team depart to teams located in California, Bogaerts being one of them this offseason, going to the Padres. Superstar outfielder Mookie Betts, who was traded in 2020 to the Los Angeles Dodgers, was a fan favorite that fans had to say goodbye to as well. Fans were hoping for Betts to be signed to the team long-term, but that didn’t come to fruition. Betts signed a 13-year, $365 million guaranteed contract with the Dodgers that summer and went on to win the 2020 World Series with the club to add to the pain that fans may have felt from losing him that offseason.

With those players gone, the focus of the front office was shifted to Devers. Fans were uncertain if both sides were to reach an agreement as early reports came out that the Red Sox were off by over $100 million of what Devers wanted. Instead, management stepped up in a way that fans haven’t seen in a long while and made Devers the face of the franchise for the Red Sox in years to come.