The Boston Red Sox and third baseman Rafael Devers reportedly did not see eye-to-eye on the length of a potential new contract during negotiations, which likely led to a large gap on the financial side as well, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post:
"The Red Sox are said to have offered the excellent young slugger Devers nothing like what he was seeking in terms of length or dollars. Word is, Devers was looking for an ultra-long deal that would have made him a 'Red Sox for life,' while the club was thinking more like a contract for much less length—a kind of half-life deal. The team's exact offer isn't known, but suffice it to say, they were surely more than $100 million apart."
Devers is currently playing on a one-year, $11,200,000 contract agreed upon this offseason that let the third baseman and the Red Sox avoid arbitration. He has one more year of arbitration left before he's eligible for free agency after the 2023 season.
As noted by Chris Cotillo of MassLive, Devers does not want to talk contracts during the season, so Boston's next best chance to extend him long-term would be after the 2022 campaign.
"Devers has said he doesn't want to talk during the season," Cotillo wrote. He added that "considering this is the first time the sides have really talked about a deal not a major surprise they're far off."
The 25-year-old Devers is in his sixth MLB season. He enjoyed his best year in 2021, when he made his first American League All-Star team and finished the year hitting .279 (.890 OPS) with 38 home runs and 113 RBI.
Thanks in part to his efforts, the Red Sox reached the AL Championship Series.
It would clearly be in Boston's best interest to keep Devers around, but the sides just aren't close right now. One source told Heyman that the offer and counteroffer were "like night and day."
Time isn't of the essence, though, with the Red Sox and Devers having the luxury of another full offseason ahead of them to get this done before free agency. For now, Devers is off to a good start with a .346 batting average through six games.