Rafael Devers, Red Sox Sign $331M Extension

Rafael Devers, Red Sox Sign $331M Extension
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Third baseman Rafael Devers and the Boston Red Sox have come to terms on Wednesday on an 11-year, $331 million contract extension. There is reportedly a no-trade clause with no opt-outs, and Devers receives a $20 million signing bonus in the deal. Devers received his second – and second consecutive – All-Star nod in 2022 for the Red Sox. Additionally, Devers earned MVP votes for the third time in his career. He was 14th in the AL MVP voting in 2022. His slash line was .295/.358/.521 with an OPS of .879, which was good enough for an OPS+ of 141. Devers slugged 27 home runs, smashed 42 doubles, and knocked in 88 RBI. But the real statistic that Devers excels in is rOBA. Devers was fourth in the American League in rOBA in 2022 with .381. The AL average for rOBA in 2022 was .310, so Devers was much higher than the league average.

Only Aaron Judge, Yordan Alvarez, and Jose Altuve had a higher rOBA than Devers in the AL in 2022. You can read more about rOBA and the difference between it and wOBA at Baseball Reference. In addition to Devers’ impressive performance with rOBA in 2022, he finished fourth in OPS and eighth in OPS+. Considering that Devers was fourth in rOBA and only 15th in OBP, and also considering the fact that OPS and OPS+ rely on OBP for their calculations, rOBA shows that Devers is even more valuable than his OPS and OPS+ statistics display.

Rafael Devers’ Contact for Red Sox

To add to the impressive statistics, Devers’ hard-hit rate was over 51% for the second straight season and for the third time in his career. His average exit velocity was 93 MPH, which was good enough for third in the AL in 2022. It was also the third time in his career that his exit velocity was 93 MPH or above. For reference, 93 MPH would have tied for sixth in the AL in 2021 and was fifth in the AL in 2020 (by Devers). Devers’ consistently high hard contact rate makes his wOBA and other offensive numbers look replicable for him in the future.

With the no-trade clause, Devers will likely remain in Boston for almost all of his career at a minimum. Devers is only entering his age-26 season in 2023, so his prime is likely still on the horizon for the Red Sox. Perhaps this is why the Red Sox decided to throw an average annual value of $30.09 million at Devers. Red Sox fans ought to celebrate this extension as they saw star outfielder Mookie Betts traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Xander Bogaerts signed by the San Diego Padres in free agency recently. The Red Sox fans have a star finally remaining in Boston for the foreseeable future.

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Chris Gray

Chris Gray

Chris is a writer, philosopher, and web developer. He is currently the Web Developer as well as an Editor and Contributor for SportRelay.

When Chris was young, he played Little League Baseball for years. In addition, he used to look at the statistics on baseball cards to compare the different players and trade the cards with his friends. As a teenager, he worked as a Computer Technician until he landed a position as a Network Administrator at a middle school in Los Angeles, California.

Feeling unfulfilled with a lack of education to combine with his work and life experience, he returned to school, obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from UCLA, and now spends his time writing, investing, thinking, programming, and enjoying baseball.

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