What will the future hold for the 26-year-old two-time All-Star Red Sox third baseman? Let’s talk about possibilities for a Rafael Devers extension in Boston.
If Rafael Devers’ latest financial arrangement means anything, it’s that the star third basemen is likely staying in Boston long-term. On Jan. 3, the two-time All-Star agreed to a one-year $17.5 million deal — a sign that both he and the Red Sox were not only committed to avoiding arbitration, but continuing the conversation around a potential long-term deal knowing that 2023 is Devers’ last season before hitting free agency for the first time.
The 26-year-old hit .295 with 27 home runs and 88 RBI for the Red Sox last year. With Devers set to hit the free agent market following the 2023 season, it would be seriously bad business if the Red Sox let him walk the same way they did with homegrown talent like Mookie Betts (traded to the Dodgers in 2020) and Xander Bogaerts, who signed with the Padres on a massive 11-year $280 million deal in free agency.
According to ESPN, the Sox and Devers have been “far apart” in conversations regarding an extension, but this deal indicates that the two sides agree that a long-term agreement is the goal. This is not to mention that Chaim Bloom and the Boston front office have spent more than $100 million in free agency thus far — which only bolsters Devers’ case to become one of the highest-paid players in the Majors.
The pressure is mounting and Devers could warrant a ginormous payday in free agency after playing out the 2023 campaign and taking home the $17.5 million number. Alternatively, the Sox might just stop at nothing to hammer out a long-term deal before the start of the new season knowing how alluring (and outrageously expensive) it can be when a player is allowed to hit the open market.
With that in mind, let’s talk about what a Rafael Devers contract extension could look like.
What is Rafael Devers’ 2024 Market Value?
Contract database Spotrac determines its own market value estimates based on a player’s age, contract status, and statistical production. It doesn’t take into account wins, awards, or playoff performance but it’s a useful measuring stick when comparing other players’ contracts. In Devers’ case, he might become one of the richest third basemen in the league at just 26 years young.
Projecting the size of a Rafael Devers contract extension in Boston
- By Spotrac’s estimates, a Devers contract extension is pegged at 10 years and $310,927,950. That would rank No. 11 in the MLB in terms of total value right behind Carlos Correa (assuming his mutually agreed deal with the Mets goes through).
- His average annual salary is projected at $31,092,795, which would rank third among third basemen.
Comparable Players By Value
|Trea Turner (PHI)||11||$300M||$27.3M||29|
|Francisco Lindor (NYM)||10||$341M||$34.1M||27|
|Mookie Betts (LAD)||12||$365M||$30.4M||27|
|Corey Seager (TEX)||10||$325M||$32.5M||27|
Comparable Players By Stats
After turning in their worst season since 2015 (78-84), Boston added some big names, including NPB star Masataka Yoshida, veteran infielder Justin Turner, and two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber — making them just the 13th-most expensive team in baseball as of this writing with $139.9 million committed to payroll. Nonetheless, Devers will be the priority, no matter how good or bad they are this upcoming season.
Knowing all this, expect Devers’ camp to consider an average annual salary of at least $30 million and a total value of $300 million to be the floor in any long-term negotiation.
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