Red Sox: An extension for Rafael Devers needs to be Boston’s top priority
The Red Sox need to sign Rafael Devers for as long as possible
Things have been really up and down for the Red Sox as of late. They started September by striking together four straight wins but have since followed that up with a trio of losses. However, one thing that has been pretty consistent for Boston in 2021 is the stellar play of Rafael Devers. The young third baseman has once again found himself linked with the legends of the organization and he’s earned a deal worthy of his efforts.
It feels like when we talk about Raffy the conversation goes in one of two directions, his defense or his offense. And that’s a fair assessment as he’s either crushing homers or booting baseballs in the field. The thing is, what he’s been doing with his bat has far outweighed any mistakes he has made on the diamond. A few short days ago, he cracked a three-run home run that would propel him in a few different categories.
That homer would bring his season total to 33 which is a new career-high and it would also see his RBI tally brought up to 101, just 14 short of his career-best. So why are those two numbers so important, you ask, I’ll tell ya! With one swing of the bat, Raffy would join Red Sox legend Ted Williams as the only players in team history to have multiple 30 HR/100 RBI seasons before the sweet age of 25, per Red Sox Notes.
It really feels like the young infielder is linked with Teddy Ballgame more than anyone else, and that’s pretty damn cool. To be in lockstep with one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game has to be a hell of a confidence booster. We saw similar stats and stories coming week by week back in 2019 when Raffy had his best season to date. As the 2021 season enters its final few weeks it looks as if the comparisons will only keep piling up.
Those 101 RBI that he has on the season also see him near the top of the leaderboard in baseball. He sits just behind Jose Abreu and Salvador Perez who are tied with 103 apiece. We all know the kind of power that Raffy has and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him overtake the lead any day now. Fangraphs also ranks Devers 12th for WAR (4.6) in all of MLB and second for third basemen right behind Jose Ramirez (5.1).
So not only is he one of the best hitters in general in the entire league, he’s one of the best third basemen and with each passing game he adds another chapter to the Red Sox history book. This brings me back to the reason why we’re here today, it’s time to give Rafael that fat payday. It would be in the best interests of Chaim Bloom to get an extension in front of Devers as soon as possible before the money gets to be a little more than John Henry wants to fork over.
Per Spotrac, Devers has seen his salary go from $535K in 2017 to $4.575M in 2021, a wild increase. My guy has added $4M to his salary in four years and he’s arguably worth much more. He has two years of arbitration remaining before he becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2023 season when he’ll be 27 years old. With each homer, RBI, and new team record, that number is just going to continue to rise to astronomical heights.
Before this season I would’ve argued that along with Raffy there were a few more guys that would need new deals. As we wind down the regular season I believe that Eduardo Rodriguez and Christian Vazquez may have played themselves out of new contracts with the Red Sox, freeing up more money for Raffy. I also wouldn’t hate a new deal for Xander Bogaerts that will keep him in Boston for his entire career and let’s just remove those opt-outs while we’re at it.
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It’s hard to put a finger on what a new contract could look like for Devers but I think something along the lines of 8-years/$160M. That would see him finish out the contract at 32-years-old and would also put him on the same pay scale as Alex Bregman, the consensus top guy at third despite the stats not really backing that up. I think $20M/year is a pretty sweet deal and at that length would most likely see him play his entire career at Fenway Park.
At only 24 years of age, Rafael Devers is already proving to be one of the best players to wear a Red Sox uniform and he’s only getting better. For Chaim Bloom and Boston, it would be the best decision they’ve made to get a new contract in front of him as soon as they can this winter. Put pen to paper and pay this man what he’s worth. He’s one of the best third basemen in the league and his paycheck should represent that. Get it done, Chaim.