It has been reported that Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers is seeking a contract worth more than $300 million.
Reports indicate that the Red Sox offered Rafael Devers a contract valued at more than $200 million, which was rejected by the player as it did not meet his salary expectations. This is not a new story for the franchise, which had another of its contract extension offers rejected by Xander Bogaerts in an attempt to retain what have been two of the franchise’s cornerstones over the past few years.
Rafael Devers previously stated that while he is open to extending his ties with the Red Sox, he does not want to discuss those issues during the current season and prefers to focus solely on what happens on the diamond. Speaking of seasons, the Dominican Republic native will earn a total of $11.2 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for the 2023 season, which is the final year of his current contract.
Given the numbers being thrown around in the Major Leagues right now, and the fact that other players have contracts for similar sums to those asked by the Dominican, his accusations may be well-founded, even though the Red Sox management has so far declined to provide similar contracts.
Is it fair to provide Rafael Devers with such a huge contract?
Despite the fact that he is only 25 years old and made his Major League debut during the 2017 season, Rafael Devers rapidly established himself in the team as one of the most essential players at his position in all of Major League Baseball.
Although defensively there is still room for improvement, the Dominican has always been characterized mainly by his bat, which has not stopped connecting hits of all kinds since his arrival in the MLB. Rafael Devers averages spectacular offensive numbers of .280/.338/.510 over his Major League career, with a total of 113 homers and 372 RBIs.
In terms of individual records, 2021 was one of the best years in his career, with a .279/.352/.538 average, 38 homers connected (the best record in his career in a single campaign) and 113 RBIs. Those numbers earned him his first call to the All-Star Game, and additionally, he won the Silver Slugger award as a third baseman. He has also tasted glory on a team level since he was part of the Boston Red Sox roster that won the 2018 World Series.
For now, Rafael Devers seems to have what it takes to replace David Ortiz’s bat after his retirement in 2016, and seems to be the spiritual successor of “Big Papi” in Boston’s offense, so it is up to the board to retain him for the coming years. They also have pending tasks with other roster players, though, such as the aforementioned Bogaerts and also with their star pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.