Sources: Boston, Devers agree to 1 year, $17.5M

    ESPN MLB insider
    Author of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports”

Star third baseman Rafael Devers and the Boston Red Sox agreed on a one-year, $17.5 million contract to avoid arbitration on Tuesday, sources told ESPN, a sign that the sides continue to communicate in hopes of striking a long-term extension.

Devers, 26, is set to reach free agency this winter, but after losing homegrown stars Mookie Betts via trade and Xander Bogaerts via free agency, the Red Sox are motivated to strike a deal that would keep Devers in a Boston uniform well into his 30s.

The two-time All-Star hit .295/.358/.521 with 27 home runs and 88 RBIs for the Red Sox last year. Over his first six seasons, he has hit .283/.342/.512 with 139 home runs and 455 RBIs.

Boston’s busy offseason has seen significant turnover, with Bogaerts and right-hander Nathan Eovaldi leaving and outfielder Masataka Yoshida, infielder Justin Turner, starter Corey Kluber and relievers Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin and Joely Rodriguez signing. The Red Sox finished in last place in the American League East in 2022, and disillusionment in the fan base led to the booing of owner John Henry at the Winter Classic, which was held at Fenway Park on Monday.

The Red Sox and Devers have been far apart in previous conversations on an extension, according to sources, though striking a deal to avoid Devers’ final year of arbitration is a sign the parties continue to talk. Following an offseason of massive spending, Devers’ case for a $300 million-plus contract only has been emboldened, and the pressure on the Red Sox not to lose another franchise-type player gives him significant leverage in negotiations.

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