Seattle Mariners’ lucrative extension for Julio Rodriguez puts harsh spotlight on Red Sox failure with Rafael Devers
On Friday morning, the Seattle Mariners made a big splash by inking Julio Rodriguez to a massive extension.
As reported by Jesse Sanchez and Jeff Passan, the deal is 14 years with $210M guaranteed but could exceed $400M. It includes both player and team options.
This is amazing for him, the team, and baseball. J-Rod is one of MLB’s brightest burgeoning stars. His Home Run Derby performance was electric, and he’ll hopefully be the centerpiece of a Mariners team that finally goes to the World Series for the first time in their franchise history.
It’s also a brutal reminder that the Boston Red Sox still haven’t paid Rafael Devers, and at this point, it’s absolutely disgraceful. It’s unacceptable from an individual standpoint, as he’s more than earned his pay. Even Gerrit Cole, the pitcher he owns more than any other MLB arm, says he’s a $300M kid. And from an MLB market angle, it’s even worse. The Sox are embarrassing themselves and insulting their brightest star.
At 25 years old, Devers has more than proven he’s worthy of the kind of contracts several teams have given out to their own wunderkinder over the last two years. The Atlanta Braves have given out several extensions, including to their own third baseman, Austin Riley. The San Diego Padres inked Fernando Tatis Jr. Even the cheapskate Tampa Bay Rays shelled out for Wander Franco. Historically, the Sox have been bigger spenders than any of them.
So what the heck does Devers have to do?
Have a franchise legend scream about it all over the news all summer? David Ortiz has been on it for months.
Become the youngest player in franchise history to homer in a postseason game? Done.
Lead MLB in total bases? 2019 was fun.
Finish top-12 in MVP voting? Twice.
Win a Silver Slugger? Got one.
Win a World Series? Check.
With all due respect to J-Rod and the others, Devers has proven himself as much, if not more than his fellow young superstars who’ve already gotten paid. So, unfortunately, it’s not about him. It’s about his suddenly-cheap organization.
How dare the Sox, who are valued billions more than most of their fellow teams, suddenly scrimp on one of the best players they’ve ever developed? How can they sit back and watch other teams lock in the players who should represent them for years to come? The audacity has reached Everest heights.
The Sox already mishandled Mookie Betts. To repeat the same choice with Devers would be ‘Babe Ruth to the Yankees’ levels of catastrophic.
If you’re not fuming, you should be.