Red Sox

Rafael Devers agrees to 1-year, $17.5 million deal with Red Sox to avoid arbitration

Barring an extension, Devers could still leave in free agency after the 2023 season.

The Red Sox have reached an agreement with third-baseman Rafael Devers for a 1-year, $17.5 million deal that will allow both sides to avoid arbitration, the team announced Tuesday afternoon.

“This does not stop the sides from reaching a long-term contract extension,” ESPN’s Jeff Passan wrote on Twitter. “The fact that the sides got this deal done shows discussions.”

The 26-year-old infielder slugged 27 home runs last season with a .295 batting average and 88 RBIs en route to his second-consecutive All-Star appearance. He leads MLB in doubles and extra-base hits since the beginning of 2019.

Devers can still become a free agent after next season if he and the Red Sox don’t agree to a longer extension.


The Red Sox were unable to agree to an extension with shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who signed an 11-year, $280 million contract with San Diego last month.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom reportedly told Jon Heyman of the New York Post last month that extending Devers is Boston’s top priority following Bogaerts’ departure.

Two weeks ago, Devers and the Red Sox were reportedly “galaxies apart” in terms of contract negotiations. This agreement appears to be a step towards closing that gap.

There is still a considerable amount of work to be done before the Red Sox and Devers agree on a bigger deal, tweeted Mark Feinsand of

“Devers and Boston will surely continue talks about an extension, though as of late-December, the two sides weren’t close,” Feinsand wrote. “That said, the Yankees and Aaron Judge settled last year and weren’t close on an extension, yet Judge is staying in the Bronx. Long way to go in this story.”

With the Devers signing, the Red Sox have six unsigned players left who are arbitration eligible: Christian Arroyo, Ryan Brasier, Reese McGuire, Nick Pivetta, Josh Taylor, and Alex Verdugo.


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