Xander Bogaerts challenges Red Sox to pay up for Rafael Devers
The Red Sox failed to lock down Xander Bogaerts this offseason, making an extension of Rafael Devers even more urgent than before.
Extending Rafael Devers should be on the top of the Red Sox list of priorities, but it may not be as easy as it would’ve been if they had locked down Xander Bogaerts. The two were extremely close and Devers expressed his hope for Bogaerts to stay in Boston, but he’s now with the San Diego Padres for at least 11 years.
Bogaerts has had Devers’ back just as much, sharing that he “deserves to be paid.”
Devers is now expected to drive a hard bargain as a result as he hits free agency in 2024, with rumors going for north of $300 million. He’ll undoubtedly be worth a lot as he’s won a World Series with the team and was one of the best third basemen in the league.
Among all third basemen, Devers had the third-most home runs (27), sixth-most runs (84), third-best batting average (.295), fourth-best on-base percentage (.358) and fourth-best slugging percentage (.521).
Just like Bogaerts, he could earn a lot on the market. The Red Sox will need to up their game and not repeat their past mistakes if they want to keep him.
Red Sox should learn from past mistakes to keep Rafael Devers
Boston has made the same mistake with multiple players, including Bogaerts and Mookie Betts. They’ve consistently driven out their home-grown talent when they have the money to pay them, and unfortunately, the team’s success has suffered because of it.
The Red Sox have won the most World Series of the 2000s, yet they’ve only made it to the playoffs once since their last World Series win in 2018. In 2022, they finished last in the AL East as the only team below .500, mainly because they didn’t have reliable help. Their bullpen suffered and their defense wasn’t anything special, and but Bogaerts and Devers held the team together and brought whatever success could be scraped together.
Without Bogaerts next season, the team is highly likely to do worse. If Devers leaves in the near future too, Boston could be in for a rude awakening.