Rafael Devers is Officially the Face of the Boston Red Sox
Today, the Red Sox officially announced an 11-year 331 million dollar contract extension for Rafael Devers. The largest contract in Red Sox history. Red Sox ownership have been heavily criticized for losing both Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts. It has been a frustrating three years for Red Sox fans, but I do not believe anyone can question Fenway Sports Management's commitment to the Boston Red Sox. John Henry deserves credit for flying to the Dominican Republic in December and doing what was necessary to keep Rafael Devers a Boston Red Sox. I believe the Red Sox have always viewed Rafael Devers as the next face of their franchise. Last month, Chaim Bloom stated, "Devers is at the center of everything we are trying to accomplish here." Red Sox fans were skeptical of this after Bloom claimed the Red Sox's number one priority this offseason was to resign Xander Bogaerts, which they ultimately failed to do. Red Sox Nation feared Boston's Front Office would fail to keep another star in Rafael Devers, and fortunately, they delivered on their promise this time.
Rafael Devers's new contract is the 6th largest contract in baseball history. This offseason, Aaron Judge, Trea Turner, and Xander Bogaerts all received contracts that will pay them through their age forty seasons. All three of those players are outstanding baseball players but signing Devers for eleven years is the smarter baseball decision. The Red Sox will pay Devers through his age 36 season. At just 26, Devers is significantly younger than most players who receive these mega contracts. This contract does not feature any trade clause or opt-out, so the Red Sox have total control over Devers's future with the organization throughout the contract. Despite being the sixth-largest contract in Major League Baseball history, this is a team-friendly deal for the Red Sox. It is almost unheard of for a contract of this magnitude not to feature a no-trade clause or an opt-out. They have full control over Devers's future. At 26, Devers has already had a lot of success in the Major Leagues. However, I believe his best years are still ahead of him. Last year, I wrote that Rafael Devers could become the most legendary Red Sox player since David Ortiz. Like Ortiz, he seems to always deliver in the big moments. It is a bold prediction, but I have no doubt Devers will meet expectations.
At today's Press Conference, Chaim Bloom addressed Red Sox Nation with this statement:
"One more thing I actually want to say, really to our fans, loving your favorite team has great moments. It's not always easy, and I know we've had some ups and downs, certainly in the last few years, and I know you're all smart, and you knew there'd be ups and downs with where we stood, and some of the things that we were gonna have to go through. You've been with us the whole way. When we've celebrated, you've celebrated with us. When we've hurt, you've hurt, and we know that, and we feel it. So I'm hoping today, when you think about what we always talked about and where we're going and this vision of a Red Sox organization that every year is consistently contending for championships. I'm hoping that vision's a little clearer for you today, knowing that this guy's going to be right at the middle of it, what we're gonna do around him -- and I don't want to get into names, because I don't want to forget anybody -- but you know who we have, the players who have joined us through free agency, players we've acquired, whether through trade, Rule 5 and players we've grown, that this staff has grown. You know who we have, and you know there's more coming. You know it's not always linear. It's not always easy. We've taken a couple of haymakers. You know what? We're probably gonna take a couple more. This is baseball. It's not supposed to be easy. But I want to be clear. We're going to do this. It's going to be awesome. We are going to get there, and I just wanted to thank all of you for your support and hope it's a little clearer today."
All offseason, Red Sox Nation has been wondering what the long-term plan the Red Sox Front Office had for the team moving forward. The plan is to rebuild around Rafael Devers. Boston has signed several veterans to fill areas of need, with Corey Kluber, Justin Turner, and Kenley Jansen all signing short-term deals this offseason. All three players have had incredible Major League careers and serve as strong leaders and mentors for a younger, rebuilding Red Sox team. The Red Sox have a lot of talented young players who they expect to be a part of their future core, such as Marcelo Mayer, Tristian Casas, Brayan Bello, Ceddanne Rafaela, and Miguel Bleis. The future is bright in Boston, but we must be patient and trust the process.