Red Sox: Boston needs to offer Rafael Devers an extension before 2021
The Boston Red Sox have fantastic talent in Rafael Devers, however, if they don’t offer him an extension soon his salary may surpass their budget.
As we inch closer and closer to the weirdness that will be the 2020 season, I began to think about the future of the Red Sox. The organization currently has a strong foundation of young talent that can lead to team to success for years to come. One of those players is an enigmatic third baseman named Rafael Devers.
Raffy manages the left side of the infield with fellow young superstar Xander Bogaerts. The two have formed a dynamic duo of sorts with Bogey taking the mantle of Batman and Devers his Robin. Together the two patrol their half of the infield as if it were Gotham City and the Joker was running wild.
Ahead of the 2019 season, the Red Sox locked up Bogaerts with a new 6yr/$120M contract extension, effectively making him Boston’s longest-tenured shortstop. Soon they’ll need to make another similar decision as Devers will begin the arbitration process in 2021 and reach free agency in 2024. If the organization doesn’t act swiftly with the young infielder then he may go the way of Mookie Betts.
He showed immense promise during the 2018 campaign and postseason just to have an insane breakout season in 2019. Devers posted a .311/.361/.555/.916 slash line with a league-leading 54 doubles, 32 homers, and 115 RBI.
He and Bogaerts would become the first teammates in history to both reach the “50/30 Club,” in the same season. In a season full of disappointment, what those two did was beyond ridiculous.
Back to the matter at hand, Raffy “Big Scoops” is about to start getting some big-time paydays. There are more questions than answered surrounding the 2020 season and how the pay scale will work but no matter what this will be the final season of Boston getting a discount for Devers. With the likelihood of an 82 game season coming up on the horizon, Rafael has a serious chance to have another killer year.
This is why the Red Sox need to strike while the iron is hot. If this season gets underway then the CBT penalty will be reset for Boston and they can get back to their pending ways ahead of 2021. Just in time for them to splash some cash to lock Devers up for the long-term.
I referred back to Mookie earlier in this and with good reason. The Red Sox failed to approach him with the right respect at the negotiation table and were forced to trade him ahead of his contract year.
As much as it pains me to say this, we very well could see a repeat of that nightmare is Chaim Bloom doesn’t attack Raffy’s impending arbitration correctly. The Betts debacle doesn’t fall on the head of Bloom as he was merely the man that put the stamp on the letter, but the envelope had already been sealed.
He gets a chance to make things right with Red Sox Nation by extending Devers and keeping him at Fenway Park for the foreseeable future. Chaim is a man who’s built his reputation on maximizing the almighty dollar, but he now works for a boss that has bottomless pockets. He’ll need to walk that fine line of offering the player what they’re worthwhile not setting off alarms in the Owner’s suite. Something that Dave Dombrowski could never quite figure out while in Boston.
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Though Rafael may not get the praise or shine that Mookie gets, he’s only 23 and has plenty of time to rise to that next level of stardom. His personality and on the field skills endear him to Red Sox Nation and that could expand to the rest of the baseball world. The MLB is always looking for players that they can put on the posters to draw in fans, Raffy is their man. Whether he’s flashing that giant grin or smacking a homer to Cambridge, he always has the fans’ attention.
Rafael Devers has the potential to be the next big star in a Boston uniform. It’ll be imperative to their future success to keep him at Fenway Park for as long as possible. Like I said, he won’t be a free-agent until 2024 but if they wait that long, it’ll be too late. Again, see Betts; Mookie.
So, this upcoming season will be one that is not only important to the Red Sox but to the league as a whole. For Boston, they need to plan for their future and extend Rafael Devers. This will be their best chance at locking up a talented player with immense potential for what can be a hometown price. If they wait too long to start making offers, it may be too late.