Devers, Red Sox finalize extension through 2033

January 11th, 2023

BOSTON -- The Red Sox on Wednesday announced that they've signed third baseman Rafael Devers to an extension through the 2033 season. Terms of the contract were not announced, but a source told's Mark Feinsand that it's for $331 million for 11 years, which includes the $17.5 million deal for the 2023 season to avoid arbitration.

News of the deal -- which is the largest in Red Sox history by total value -- broke on Jan. 4 after the sides agreed to a deal to avoid arbitration. Devers’ deal will be the sixth-largest in MLB history by total value. His $30.09M average annual value will be the 21st highest.

The timing of a megadeal with Devers couldn’t be better, as the team’s fanbase was reeling after Xander Bogaerts slipped away last month as a free agent to the Padres on an 11-year, $280 million contract. With Bogaerts off to the West Coast, the Red Sox faced a possible identity crisis in the coming years as to who the face of the franchise would be.

That will no longer be an issue. The face of the Red Sox for years to come should be that of the frequently-smiling Devers, who has emerged into one of the best run producers in baseball while playing with joyful exuberance.

Over the past two seasons, Devers has taken his game to the next level, tying for sixth in MLB in extra-base hits (146) while posting a .287/.355/.530 slash (137 OPS+). The left-handed slugger is entering his seventh big league season, but he's still only 26 years old.

The Red Sox, after losing Bogaerts to the Padres, knew full well this wasn’t the time to be taking another big PR hit -- not to mention losing another player with elite run-production skills.

In February of 2020, the Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Dodgers, though that was more of a calculated decision based on several years of unsuccessful negotiations with the five-tool star. Devers and oft-injured ace Chris Sale are the only star players who remain from the 2018 juggernaut that won the World Series. Relievers Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier are the other players left from that squad.

The Red Sox will have a new look to their team next season, as former core members Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez (Dodgers), Nathan Eovaldi (Rangers) and Christian Vázquez (Twins) have all moved on.

But with Devers now entrenched and his contract situation no longer an issue, things will feel more settled.

In their quest to emerge from a last-place finish in the American League East, the Red Sox's 2023 lineup will be anchored by Devers, Japanese rookie Masataka Yoshida and Justin Turner, the veteran free agent who agreed to terms on a one-year deal with a player option. Kiké Hernández and Alex Verdugo are expected to be other key pieces in manager Alex Cora’s lineup for next season. Trevor Story, who was set to be the starting shortstop, underwent right elbow surgery on Tuesday, and his timeline is to be determined.

But now that Devers and Boston’s front office have found common ground on an extension before Opening Day, the Red Sox have the face of their franchise for the long haul. If Devers stays for the rest of his career -- or at least the majority of it -- he will get the chance to move into the pantheon of all-time Red Sox players. With 333 extra-base hits in his first six seasons, Devers surpassed Ted Williams and Betts for most in club history before the age of 26.

It is set up to be a win-win for the front office, the players and Devers himself.

The Red Sox initially acquired Devers as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic on Aug. 9, 2013. He was 16 at the time, and the club secured him with a $1.5 million signing bonus.

Instead of making a huge move at the July 2017 Trade Deadline, the Sox summoned Devers to the Major Leagues in the middle of a pennant race at the age of 20.

He made an instant impact, helping the Red Sox win the AL East. Though Boston lost to Houston in four games in the 2017 American League Division Series, Devers was a bright spot, belting two home runs, including an inside-the-parker that brought Fenway Park into an utter frenzy in the ninth inning of Game 4. A comeback in that game fell just short, but Devers would make up for it in upcoming Octobers.

In the World Series-winning season of 2018, it was Devers who mashed a three-run homer against Justin Verlander to cement clinching Game 5 of the AL Championship Series. The Red Sox beat the Dodgers in five games in the Fall Classic, with Devers coming up with the go-ahead hit in the top of the ninth that led his team to a furious comeback victory in Game 4.

Then, there was the 2021 postseason, when Devers belted five home runs to get an upstart team just two wins shy of the World Series.

With his contract situation just about solidified, there could be many October heroics to come for Devers in Boston.