The Red Sox and third baseman Rafael Devers have avoided salary arbitration, as the two sides reached agreement on a $4.575 million contract for the 2021 season, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand
UPDATE: It’s official now.
Devers, 24, was entering his first season of arbitration eligibility. He was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn approximately $6.3 million in 2021.
Had Devers and the Red Sox not settled on a dollar figure by Friday’s deadline, the two sides would have had to appear in front of an arbitrator sometime next month in order to determine the infielder’s salary for the upcoming season.
Prior to Friday’s deadline, Devers had been the only arbitration-eligible player the Sox had yet to come to terms with, as the club signed the likes of Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Austin Brice, Kevin Plawecki, and Eduardo Rodriguez to contracts in December.
Per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, neither Boston nor Devers’ camp talked about a potential long-term contract extension leading up to Friday’s agreement. The Dominican national’s agent, Nelson Montes de Oca of REP1 Baseball, said as much when speaking with The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier last week.
“We haven’t talked about 2021 or a multiyear deal right now,” Montes de Oca said. “Right now he’s just concentrated on getting in shape for 2021 and put in the best season and helping the team win. We haven’t talked or thought about any multiyear deal at this point.”
Despite the notion that there have been no talks about an extension to this point, the two sides are free to explore that possibility in the meantime. Though, as noted by Cotillo, “conversations about those types of contracts usually take place before or during spring training and are tabled before the beginning of the season.”
As of this writing, Devers is eligible to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2023 campaign.
For now, the former top prospect will prepare to embark on his fifth big-league season (fourth full) as he reunites with manager Alex Cora.
According to Speier, Devers is currently working out in Tampa to prepare for the season. The start of spring training is just a few short weeks away, after all.
By reaching an agreement with Devers, the Red Sox — or any players on the team for that matter — won’t have to attend any arbitration hearings this spring for the first time since 2019.
(Picture of Rafael Devers: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)