The Red Sox would stop at nothing to keep their star third baseman in town — Boardroom takes a look at Boston’s record-setting Rafael Devers contract extension particulars.
The Boston Red Sox had yet to make a major move to light the 2022-23 MLB offseason ablaze, but that wasn’t to suggest that they’re suddenly some sort of small market team. And taking into account that this franchise already saw stars like Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts leave town after being unable to come to terms on long-term extensions, strike three probably meant you’re out for this front office. The task was clear: re-sign All-Star third baseman Rafael Devers or start circling items in the want ads.
Fortunately, after Chaim Bloom and Co. bought some time by agreeing to a $17.5 million salary number for 2023 for the purposes of avoiding arbitration, the Fenway faithful were given nine figures’ worth of reasons to cheer in the early days of the new year:
As first reported by retired MLB slugger Carlos Baerga, Devers is staying in Boston on terms later confirmed to be 11 years and $331 million pending a medical evaluation.
With that in mind, let’s check out the finer salary details of Boston’s record-setting Rafael Devers contract extension.
Rafael Devers Contract Details & Salary
Numbers as first reported by Carlos Baerga and confirmed by multiple outlets.
Total value: $331,000,000
Average annual value: $30,090,909.09
Free agency: 2035
As noted, Devers will still make $17.5 million in 2023, his final year of arbitration eligibility, before the big-money extension kicks in starting in 2024.
The shortstop market has outpaced the hot corner this offseason by orders of magnitude — Trea Turner got $300 million, Xander Bogaerts got $280 million, and Dansby Swanson got $177 million. But in so many ways, this deal, along with that of newly-converted third baseman Carlos Correa of the New York Mets, does some serious work in swinging the salary pendulum back in the other direction.
Let’s note a few superlatives while we’re at it. Devers’ contract is:
- The No. 1 largest in MLB history for a third baseman by total value and the No. 4 largest in MLB history at the position by average annual value
- The fifth-largest contract in history for any MLB player by total value
- Larger than the career MLB earnings of every player in history besides Alex Rodriguez ($455.16 million), Miguel Cabrera ($353.19 million), and Albert Pujols ($341.81 million)
Rafael Devers’ Career Earnings
Salary data via Spotrac.
TOTAL MLB EARNINGS THRU 2022: $19,245,481
PROJECTED SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2034: $350,245,481
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