- Tim Burke
Red Sox Need to Extend Rafael Devers
The John Henry ownership era has been the most successful in the long history of the Boston Red Sox. Entering his twentieth season as owner, the Henry owned Red Sox have brought four championships to Boston, which is more World Series titles than any other MLB franchise over that span. In the 21st century, life as a Red Sox fan has been nothing short of awesome. Despite this reign of greatness, fans and players alike are frustrated over the Red Sox’s lack of long term commitment to young players once they hit Free Agency. We all know John Henry is a fan of consistent turnover within the Red Sox organization. It is no secret that Henry is a massive fan of the Billy Beane run Athletics, who thrive off of getting the most from their young talent and either trade them or let them walk in Free Agency. There are two prime examples of this in Red Sox history. Mookie Betts and Jon Lester. Both players are supremely talented and in an ideal world they should have been playing at Fenway Park for their entire career, especially Lester who publicly addressed that he did not want to play anywhere else. Players, coaches and fans grow attached to good players. It is human. Unfortunately, in order to succeed in baseball, you must continually try to improve your team if you want to win on a consistent basis. Look at how few players were on the Red Sox for more than one of their World Series victories. Not many. Teams have short windows to win a championship before they eventually decline or the competition around them becomes better than they are. In order to sustain success, it is unwise to commit large amounts of money to older aging players. However, some players are exceptions to that rule. Mookie Betts and Jon Lester were certainly exceptions to that rule but the Red Sox did not budge. I do find it extremely odd that John Henry is willing to commit to aging players via Free Agency but not extend guys who have proved themselves in a Red Sox uniform. Letting Mookie Betts go was a baseball decision. They traded him and they got valuable pieces in return. With Lester, the Red Sox completely dropped the ball by letting him go. Now, there is a new player the Red Sox must extend before he hits the open market, Rafael Devers.
At 25 years old, Rafael Devers is one of the most talented hitters in the game of baseball and I still do not think he has reached his full potential yet. In 2021, Devers was easily the best hitter on the Red Sox with 38 home runs and 113 RBIs. In fact, in the last two full MLB seasons Devers has hit 70 home runs and driven in 228 runs for Boston. In 2022, Devers will be entering his age twenty five season and his sixth MLB season. Throughout his young career, Devers has already produced MVP caliber seasons where he led the American League in doubles and Total Bases. Since then, Devers has improved his defense and plate discipline tremendously. The Red Sox cannot let Rafael Devers play in another uniform. The sky's the limit for Rafael Devers. He hustles, plays hard and always delivers in the big moment. If he stays in Boston, he has the capability of being the most legendary player in Boston since David Ortiz and has a good shot of joining him in Cooperstown. The Red Sox need to break their team philosophy and give Devers the extension he desires and deserves.