Red Sox: Extending Rafael Devers should’ve be the priority this offseason
Extending Rafael Devers should’ve been the Red Sox priority
Following the departures of many key players, the Boston Red Sox can’t afford to lose their core group of guys that they still have. Rafael Devers‘ situation is a bit different. While there’s no real worry that he will be leaving Boston anytime soon, he’s yet to be given a long-term deal.
Friday saw the Red Sox and Devers agree to a one-year, $4.575 million contract. While it’s a positive that arbitration has been avoided, paying Devers and securing his future with the Red Sox should’ve been a priority for the front office this offseason.
Two years ago, the Red Sox went into the offseason as the World Series champions. Today, there’s no Mookie Betts, David Price, Brock Holt, or even Dave Dombrowski. And that’s not the end of it. The Sox are truly in a rebuilding stage right now, and we’re going to see more key figures depart Boston before the beginning of the 2021 MLB season.
That incredible outfield trio that was Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Betts is no more. Betts left the picture in last year’s blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bradley Jr. became a free agent this offseason and this week has seen plenty of talk regarding Benintendi departing. Without Benintendi and his potential as a top major leaguer, the Red Sox lineup that was deemed to still be an elite lineup, even without Betts, will look bleaker by the day.
Yes, the Sox need to prioritize the future right now, and that means trading their guys and getting as many assets as they can. What they can’t do is throw every one of their stars away. And that’s why extending Devers, and giving him a lengthy contract would’ve been the wise thing to do.
J.D. Martinez opted in for the 2021 season, he also has a player option for 2022. Chris Sale, Boston’s ace when healthy, is coming back from Tommy John surgery but is locked down for the long-term, as is star shortstop Xander Bogaerts. With the departures, these three plus Devers are the core for this Red Sox franchise.
The Red Sox are going to accumulate new assets and will have to rebuild their farm as well if they want to become the baseball giants that they have been on so many occasions over the past two decades, but having superstar players like Bogaerts and Devers for the foreseeable future is just as important when you’re playing for a city like Boston.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox ‘in the mix’ for longtime Dodgers slugger Justin Turner
- Is Red Sox’ Eric Hosmer DFA a potential lifeline for Bobby Dalbec?
- Red Sox news: Orioles eyeing former Boston arms, Dansby Swanson to Cubs, JD Martinez to Dodgers
- 3 players the Red Sox could’ve DFA’ed instead of Jeter Downs and Eric Hosmer
- Eric Hosmer DFA is latest questionable Red Sox roster decision
The third baseman has only just turned 24 and has quickly turned into one of the team’s true star players after just three full seasons in the majors. In 2019 he was incredible, finishing 12th in American League MVP voting by hitting .311/.361/.555 and leading the majors in total bases with 359.
In the shortened 2020 season, Devers’ average was down (.263), but this was a common theme for major league hitters. He was still his effective self and performed in clutch situations at the plate. Over 57 games in 2020, he hit 11 home runs and recorded 43 RBI for the Sox.
From a defensive standpoint, Devers had a rough start at third base but picked it up a lot in 2019. He definitely has errors in him, but he’s a play-maker at the hot corner, and that’s hopefully something that he will continue to improve on throughout his career. He certainly has the time.
The Sox need to be clever with the moves that they’re making, and that shouldn’t be a problem when Chaim Bloom is the guy that’s making them. He knows what he’s doing when it comes to building a team, and this was clear to see in Tampa. Losing so many top players is always going to hurt – whether you’re in the clubhouse or a fan of the team – but the focus now has to be on the future for the Red Sox. That means embracing the process of accumulating assets.
What it doesn’t mean though is parting ways with Rafael Devers at any time in the near future. Devers is the present and the future of this team, and Bloom and the rest of the front office will realize this too.