One day after star third baseman Rafael Devers avoided arbitration with the Boston Red Sox, he’s now landed the largest contract in franchise history.
Former MLB player Carlos Baerga was the first to report on Wednesday that Devers has signed an 11-year, $332 million contract extension with the Red Sox. Others confirmed the report, including Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
This is a big move for a Red Sox organization that has not been painted in the best of lights during the offseason.
Fresh off an ugly 84-loss season, Boston saw star shortstop Xander Bogaerts depart to the San Diego Padres in free agency. It missed out on other top-end options on the open market and was facing the real possibility of having to trade Devers.
Rafael Devers stats (2022): .295 average, 27 HR, 88 RBI, .879 OPS
The 26-year-old Devers is considered to be among the best infielders in baseball. He’ll now be paid like it, too. In fact, his $30.18 million annual salary is the richest for a third baseman in MLB history.
Impact of Rafael Devers contract on the Boston Red Sox
Devers was slated to become a free agent after the 2023 season, leading to speculation that Boston simple might have to trade him in order to avoid losing the All-Star for nothing. But locking up Devers long-term was no small thing. The Sox signed Japanese sensation Masataka Yoshida to a five-year, $90 million contract back in December.
Right now, the strength of Boston’s lineup consists of Rafael Devers, Trevor Story, Alex Verdugo, the recently signed Justin Turner and Yoshida.
As for Devers’ contract, it is the richest in Red Sox history. That title was previously held by David Price when the pitcher inked a seven-year, $217 million deal all the way back in 2015.