Red Sox and Rafael Devers agree to 10-year extension

The Red Sox and third baseman Raphael Devers are in agreement on an extension that will keep him in Boston until the 2033 season. Although many outlets reported this as an 11-year extension worth $331 million, Devers and the Sox had already agreed to a 2023 salary of $17.5 million. By MLBTR standards, he therefore agreed today to a ten-year extension of $313.5 million. There is no opt-out clause in the deal and it won’t have a no-trade clause. The deal is pending a physical and is not yet official. Devers is represented by Rep 1 Baseball.

Devers, 26, was set to enter his final year in control of the club as he and the club recently agreed a $17.5million salary for 2023 to avoid arbitration. He was expected to reach free agency after the next campaign but now appears to be sticking around for another decade, with that deal set to see him through the 2033 campaign and his 36-year-old season. When completed, the $313.5 million guarantee will easily break the record for the largest franchise in history, which was previously held by the $217 million deal for David Price. It will also be the 10th-largest guaranteed in MLB history, while the average annual value of $31.35 million will put him in the top 20 all-time.

Devers will now remain loyal to the only organization he has ever known and could well spend his entire career in Boston. The Sox signed him out of the Dominican Republic at age 16 in August 2013, giving him a $1.5 million bonus. He worked his way through the minors and was considered by many to be one of the sport’s hottest prospects. Baseball America ranked him in the top 20 of their Top 100 list in 2016 and 2017. In that past season, Devers made it to the majors and made his debut when he was just 20 years old. Despite this young age, he hit 10 home runs in just 58 games and produced a .284/.338/.482 batting line. This led to a wRC+ of 110, indicating he was 10% better than the league’s average hitter.

Devers suffered a minor slump as a sophomore in 2018, but has largely put that behind him. Over the past four years, he hit 108 home runs and produced an overall batting line of .292/.352/.532. That production was 32% above the league average in terms of wRC+, placing him among the league’s top 25 hitters for that span.

For the Red Sox, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for the franchise over the past few years. They lifted the World Series trophy in 2018 but then saw the star right fielder Mookie Bets traded to the Dodgers alongside Price. Although the Sox did get some great players in return, it was widely seen as a financially motivated decision, a bitter pill for fans to swallow after a solid run of success that saw them win four titles from 2004 to 2018. The club slipped to last place in the American League East in the shortened 2020 campaign.

Although 2021 saw the club surprise many spectators by returning to the playoffs, they had another disappointing campaign in 2022, finishing last in the division for the second time in three years. This offseason, another star player left at shortstop Xander Bogaerts withdrew from his contract. Although the Sox argued retaining Bogaerts was a top priority, he instead signed with the Padres for $280 million over 11 years, while Boston fell well short, reportedly in the $160 million range.

With Betts and Bogaerts both leaving for California, attention turned to Devers. With only a year until free agency, many wondered if the Friar Faithful would have to suffer a third superstar departure in four years, or perhaps a three-year spell if the club considered a trade. Reports on the matter looked dire just months ago, indicating the sides weren’t close in their expansion talks with Boston offering something around $212 million. Instead, they’ve stepped up significantly to ensure Devers is the face of the franchise for years to come. In the long run, Devers may have to move from third base to first base because his defense isn’t as valued as his bat. But these will be conversations for the following days, with another 11 years for the club to work out how to define the composition.

In the short term, this won’t change the composition of the Red Sox on the field, as Devers was already going to be part of the 2023 club. But it could impact the financial ledger. Devers was previously expected to tally $17.5 million for Boston’s luxury tax, but that figure will now rise to $30.09 million. The specific breakdown of the Devers deal is not known, but the Competitive Balance Tax is calculated based on the average annual value of the deal, so the breakdown will not change CBT calculations. . With this new figure in place, the club’s total CBT tally is now $224 million, according to calculations by Roster Resource. That puts them within striking distance of the lowest luxury tax threshold, which will be $233 million this year. Any further additions, whether this offseason or as the season itself progresses, could potentially push them over the line. Since they paid the tax in 2022, they would be considered a second payer in 2023.

Former player Carlos Baerga first reported that the parties agreed on Instagram, but had terms of 11 years and $332 million. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported the $331 million figure and added the $20 million signing bonus. ESPN’s Jeff Passan clarified that the deal included 2023 and would only add ten years beyond that. Jon Heyman of the New York Post first added the absence of a no-trade clause and Boston Globe’s Alex Speier First was the lack of opt-outs.

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