The Boston Red Sox can’t afford to make the same mistake with Rafael Devers that they made with Mookie Betts.
Now that the Boston Red Sox traded away one of the top outfielders in the game in Mookie Betts, the front office should focus their attention on not letting one of the top third baseman in the game get away in the future.
Rafael Devers is just entering his third MLB season, but coming off a breakout year in which he hit .311, belted 32 homers and knocked in 115 RBI, the Red Sox are likely entering another situation with another homegrown rising star who will command a big contract when his time is up.
While the team will say they gave a gallant effort to lock Mookie Betts up long-term, the reality is they didn’t do enough and let the luxury tax sway their appetite to trade him away to the Los Angeles Dodgers in fear that he was going to walk away.
Since when has an organization that can spend the way the Red Sox could spend was afraid of giving the top players in the game the big contract?
Betts was only an MVP-winning, multiple Gold Glove, thriving World Series champion just entering his prime. If you can show an outsider like Pablo Sandoval the money, why not a player you drafted and watched grow?
Well, like in most sports, the Boston Red Sox are going to get their second chance in the 23-year-old Rafael Devers. They need to prove to Red Sox Nation that they are dedicated to their homegrown stars and get an extension done before another situation occurs where they are trading one of the best young players in the game for…some prospects.
The rumors are out there that the team is thinking just that.
At least for now, Devers is open to signing a long-term deal with the deal but hasn’t heard anything yet.
“I’m not really focused on that right now,” Devers said through an interpreter, via MassLive.com. “If it comes, it comes. That would be great. But I’m just focused on right now. We haven’t had discussions about that yet. My agent hasn’t told me anything. As of now, I’m just focused on playing the game.”
Devers is right, there is plenty of time, but after that Mookie Betts saga, how could Red Sox fans not feel anxious when it comes to young stars rising up in this organization.
The talented infielder will be eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2020 season and will hit free agency in 2023 if that extension does not happen.
In translation: The Boston Red Sox need to extend Rafael Devers prior to him hitting arbitration. If he has another monster year in 2020, like Mookie Betts he will start to recognize the ceiling of his worth.
If I am Chiam Bloom, I would show him his worth before he sets his own market or starts to question whether the team has long-term financial interest.
The time is now Boston Red Sox…the time is now.