The Boston Red Sox reportedly made up a lot of ground in a short time to secure a new deal with third baseman Rafael Devers worth $331 million over 11 years.
According to Joon Lee of ESPN, the two sides were "more than $100 million apart" during negotiations at the winter meetings last month. Lee reported in December they were "galaxies apart," although Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said they would work hard to sign Devers.
"We will probably, I think, go beyond reason to try to get this done," Bloom said. "Hopefully we can get this done."
The deal is the largest in Red Sox history, both in years and total salary, although it is in line with other massive contracts signed around baseball in recent seasons.
Devers will be one of 12 MLB players with a contract worth at least $300 million, not counting the reported deal Carlos Correa initially agreed to with the New York Mets. Aaron Judge and Trea Turner both agreed to $300 million-plus deals this offseason.
Boston saw longtime shortstop Xander Bogaerts sign with the San Diego Padres last month on an 11-year, $280 million deal. Three years earlier, the team traded superstar outfielder Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he later signed a 12-year, $365 million deal.
With fans upset about losing so many homegrown talents, the Red Sox paid up to keep Devers under team control for more than a decade.
The 26-year-old is worthy of a new deal, hitting .295 with 27 home runs last year with a career-best 141 OPS+. He earned his second straight All-Star selection and received MVP votes for the third time in four years.
Boston finished last in the AL East in 2022, but Devers is someone to build around for the future.