The Boston Red Sox and third baseman Rafael Devers reportedly have some significant ground to cover if he is going to remain with the team when his contract expires after the 2023 season.
Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported Thursday that "the gap is said to remain large" even though the two sides reopened contract discussions. Heyman noted Boston offered $200 million-plus, but Devers is looking for at least 10 years and $300 million-plus.
Boston notably traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers ahead of the 2020 season, which is a decision that Heyman pointed out "raises the urgency" for the team to keep homegrown stars in Devers and shortstop Xander Bogaerts.
According to the report, the original offer for Devers was for approximately $168 million and eight years. What's more, the proposal to Bogaerts of $20 million and one year more apparently "insulted" him and had some media members who cover the team wondering if it was an actual offer.
Bogaerts has a player option on his current deal for next season.
Devers seems like a potential foundational piece for Boston as it looks to bounce back from its last-place finish in the American League East. He is just 26 years old and already has a resume that includes two All-Star selections and a Silver Slugger.
He slashed .295/.358/.521 with 27 home runs and 88 RBI this season after finishing the 2021 campaign with career-best marks of 38 long balls and 113 RBI.
Devers also proved he can perform on pressure-packed stages when he helped lead the 2018 Red Sox to the World Series title by slashing .294/.351/.382 in the playoffs.
Competing in the AL East figures to be a daunting challenge for years to come thanks to the presence of the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays and even the resurgent Baltimore Orioles, so it would make sense for Boston to look to keep its key young performers such as Devers.
It will take more money than it has offered to this point to make that a reality, but fans can at least take solace knowing the discussions remain ongoing.