Boston Red Sox and star third baseman Rafael Devers reached an agreement on a one-year, $17.5 million contract to avoid arbitration on Tuesday. This indicates that the parties continue to communicate in the hope of reaching a long-term agreement.
After the 2023 season, Devers, who is 26 years old, will be eligible for free agency. However, the Red Sox are motivated to make a deal that would keep Devers in Boston until he is 30 years old after losing homegrown stars Mookie Betts to a trade and Xander Bogaerts to free agency.
Last season, the Red Sox used the two-time All-Star to hit.295/.358/.521 with 27 home runs and 88 RBIs. He hit.283/.342/.512 with 139 home runs and 455 RBIs in his first six seasons.
Bogaerts and right-hander Nathan Eovaldi left Boston during the busy offseason, and outfielder Masataka Yoshida, infielder Justin Turner, starter Corey Kluber, and relievers Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin, and Joely Rodriguez signed with the team. In 2022, the Red Sox finished last in the American League East, and the disappointment of the team’s fans caused them to boo owner John Henry at the Winter Classic on Monday at Fenway Park.
Sources say that the Red Sox and Devers haven’t talked much about an extension in the past. However, a deal to avoid Devers’ last year of arbitration shows that the parties are still talking. Devers’ case for a contract worth more than $300 million has only gotten stronger since the Red Sox spent a lot of money in the offseason. He also has a lot of leverage in negotiations because the Red Sox want to avoid losing another player who could be considered a franchise player.