Red Sox's Chaim Bloom Discusses Rafael Devers Contract After Xander Bogaerts' Exit

Erin WalshDecember 11, 2022

CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 20: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox walks back to the dugout after striking out in the fifth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 20, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox saw star shortstop Xander Bogaerts sign an 11-year, $280 million deal with the San Diego Padres in free agency this week, and they'll now shift their focus to Rafael Devers, who will become a free agent in 2024.

Boston never made Bogaerts a competitive offer, and, as it stands, Devers could be on his way out next winter if the Red Sox don't open their wallets and pay the star third baseman what he wants.

However, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said this week that the Red Sox are committed to building around homegrown talent—despite the departures of Bogaerts and Mookie Betts—and hope to sign Devers to a long-term deal.

Bloom said, via Chris Cotillo of MassLive:

"I've said it, and I know we haven't demonstrated this to the degree that we've hoped to, but we believe in building around homegrown talent. You want to do it in the right way. It's certainly something we want to do as often as we can. Raffy, for sure, is somebody we want to build around. I don't know that this situation (Bogaerts leaving) really changes that one way or the other.

"Obviously, the timing on him is a little different because he's not a free agent for another year. But he has been somebody that we love and want right at the center of everything we hope to accomplish, obviously in 2023 but more importantly, in the years beyond, because those are the years he's not under our control. We're hoping to change that."

The Red Sox have yet to make Devers a worthwhile offer. Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported in November that Boston had offered the slugger about $220 million, which is around $80 million less than what he's asking for (h/t Beyond the Monster).

Additionally, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported on Dec. 8 that Devers and the Red Sox "remain far apart on extension talks."

Devers, who made his debut in 2017, has emerged as one of the best third basemen in baseball, earning two All-Star Game selections and a Silver Slugger award over the last two seasons.

The 26-year-old was one of Boston's best hitters in 2022 despite the Red Sox finishing last in the AL East. He slashed .295/.358/.521 with 27 home runs and 88 RBI in 141 games.

Seeing Devers leave Boston in after next season would likely be a breaking point for many Red Sox fans as the team has seen the likes of Bogaerts, Betts and Andrew Benintendi, among others, depart since winning the 2018 World Series.

Locking him up to a long-term deal must be a priority for Bloom and Co. moving forward.