NEW YORK– Red Sox faithful have their face of the franchise locked up and secured for the next decade-plus. According to multiple sources, All-Star third baseman and 2018 World Series champion Rafael Devers will remain Bostons’ cornerstone, inking a massive 11-year/$331 million contract extension – included with a $20 million signing bonus and full no trade clause.
“We want to build around him,” Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom reportedly said to The New York Times as news surfaced on the Red Sox extending their homegrown superstar.
Pending a physical, Devers’ contract will mark the largest in Red Sox franchise history and sixth largest in MLB history. The 26-year-old from Sanchez, Dominican Republic, is set to earn an annual average value (AAV) of $30,090,909 from 2023-2033.
Devers drills it. pic.twitter.com/4CVcqg5IqC
— MLB (@MLB) August 15, 2022
“When I see Devers step up to the plate, I got no doubt that something good’s about to happen,” Red Sox legend and Cooperstown Hall of Famer David Ortiz said about Devers. “He’s one of the elite players in the game right now…”
“You find a guy like him, that’s a keeper. Young, talented, one of the best hitters in the game.”
To set off his pro-career, debuting on July 25th, 2017 against Seattle, Devers took the league by storm, slugging two home runs and six hits in his first five games played. He finished the 2017 campaign, slashing .284/.338/.482 with 10 HR and 30 RBI in 58 games.
His next season, at the age of 21, Devers cultivated the Red Sox into capturing their fourth World Series title since 2004, hitting .294 with one HR and nine RBI in the 2018 postseason.
And ever since, Devers has climbed the leaderboards, establishing himself among the top precipice of superstars across MLB.
MLB Ranks since 2019: Rafael Devers
Hits – 591 (3rd)
Extra-Base Hits – 264 (1st)
Home Runs – 108 (T-9th)
RBI – 359 (3rd)
Slugging Percentage – .532 (8th)
Total Bases – 1,078 (2nd)
Regardless of individual statistics, what Devers brings to the ballpark is a genuine energy factor paired to a winning mantra that jolts his teammates, coaches, and clubhouse throughout the haul of a 162-game regular season.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora explained in an interview this past season just how talented Devers is, and compared him to a potential soon-to-be Cooperstown Hall of Famer.
“The player he reminds me of the most and I played with him in L.A. early in his career and then became a Hall of Famer is Adrian Beltre,” Cora said.
“When he (Devers) showed up in Spring Training. You can tell, not only what he was doing with us, but when we were playing with other teams, like the horses, the studs from the other teams would gravitate to him. And when I saw that, I was like ‘these people know who this kid is.’”
Enrique ‘Kiké’ Hernández, a teammate of Devers since 2021, posted on Twitter sharing his excitement.
— Enrique Hernández (@kikehndez) January 4, 2023
In addition to his passion for baseball rooted from his upbringing in Dominican Republic, Devers earned the nickname, ‘Carita’ which means ‘babyface’ due to how young he looks, though he can slug home runs farther than most with such torque in his swing.
“They call me ‘Carita’ (Baby Face) for that very reason,” Devers revealed in a 2017 interview. “In my neighborhood, when I played vitilla (baseball with bottle caps), there was always this guy who would say, ‘Look at this one with that fresh face,’ and from then on I was ‘Carita.’”
Nonetheless, when Devers is up at the plate, he’s no ‘babyface’. The left-handed slugger is currently tied for 20th in Red Sox franchise history with 139 career home runs. He will most definitely finish within the Red Sox top-10 all-time HR list and perhaps within the top six.
Red Sox Franchise Home Run Leaders
1. Ted Williams: 521
2. David Ortiz: 483
3. Carl Yastrzemski: 452
4. Jim Rice: 382
5. Dwight Evans: 379
6. Manny Ramírez: 274
7. Mo Vaughn: 230
Though there’s plenty of fixing in store for the Red Sox to once again become a legitimate threat across the American League – locking up their franchise cornerstone is for sure, a step in the winning direction.
Overall, hats off to Chaim Bloom and Boston for securing their homegrown superstar, Rafael Devers.
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Robert Rizzo is a journalist and co-editor of Latino Sports.
Follow on Twitter: @RobertRiz994
Watch Sports with Rich live on Tuesday Nights at 8pm EST on The SLG Network/Youtube with host Rich Mancuso and cohost Robert Rizzo.
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