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  • Ethan Semendinger

Breaking: Devers Extends with Sox

I'm a few hours late to this, but the Boston Red Sox have agreed to terms with Rafael Devers on an 11-Year/$332 Million extension.

 

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Ethan's Reaction:

A few years back, the Boston Red Sox traded away Mookie Betts instead of signing him to a long-term extension.


Just earlier this offseason, they allowed their shortstop, Xander Bogaerts, to sign with the San Diego Padres.


Now, they've signed Rafael Devers to an 11-Year/$332 Million extension. This makes him the highest paid third baseman in the league. Just going into his age-26 season, this looks to be a smart move by Boston, signing him through his age-37 season.


However, it feels odd that after letting two cornerstones of the recent Red Sox years go, that they're committing hard to Devers. That's not to say it's the wrong thing for the baseball club, it's just an odd thing to look at knowing the bigger picture.


I guess 3 wrongs wouldn't been right? Regardless...


It also looks to be a smart move by Devers. Though he is one of the best hitters in baseball (in each of the last 3 full seasons, he has posted an OPS+ above 130), his defense has been often talked about as suspect. He's also now cashing in for a fortune without taking on any additional risk.


Maybe Devers could've passed the $400 million mark with another All-Star year with high MVP votes. But, for the extra $70 million in total, would it have been worth it to risk a career-ending injury? The pros of being Rafael Devers is that he had this offer on the table, and I believe he did the smart thing to take it. That money is guaranteed. Though Aaron Judge just made himself a huge bonus on his payday (by playing through his contract year), that required the single best season from a player (not named Barry Bonds) on this side of the millennium. It's safe to assume while Rafael Devers is great, he wasn't going to be able to do that.


As a Yankee fan, this move does make next offseason more interesting. Rafael Devers was a target to consider as a free agent next offseason, as the Yankees don't have an immediate heir apparent at third base after Josh Donaldson. Maybe a prospect like Anthony Volpe (whose arm likely won't play well at third) will step up and take it? Maybe Trey Sweeney will have a break-out year and make claim to the spot for the future.


Maybe Manny Machado will opt out of his deal and the Yankees will right a wrong from a few offseason's ago. (Although, now a few years older and desiring a more expensive contract, it may not be worth it anymore. But more on that another time.)


Could this move also affect the Josh Donaldson market? I'd assume not. He's still making a large salary for a player who is above-average but no longer great. Though, he does have one year left on his deal, like Devers did. (Though, technically it could be 2 if his option is picked up.) Maybe a team desperate for a third-baseman could come calling now that Devers' market is completely nullified? What a change of pace that would have to be for a front office though. Trading for Devers would've emptied a farm system. Trading for Donaldson (as it would seem to be) could be a gain for a farm system (as the Yankees may have to attach prospects to get rid of him).


All-in-all, a smart move by team and player. And, I will be interested to see how (if any) markets change in the coming days and weeks because of it.

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