Red Sox Extend Another Key Piece of Their Young Core

The Boston Red Sox continue their contract extension spree by locking down one of their brightest young players.
Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

As the city of Boston was enjoying the solar eclipse on Monday afternoon, Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow was busy locking up one of Boston's bright young stars.

Red Sox, Ceddanne Rafaela Agree on a Contract Extension

Per Chris Cotillo of MassLive, the Red Sox and 23-year-old outfielder Ceddanne Rafaela have reached an agreement on a contract extension. The terms have not yet been released.

With only 38 career games and 133 big league at-bats under his belt, Boston's front office is pushing their chips in on Rafaela's upside. The youngster Rafaela made his MLB debut on Aug. 28, 2023, and has hit .239 with two home runs, 10 RBI, and four stolen bases. He has solidified himself as the club's starting center fielder in 2024, a position that Craig Breslow apparently sees him locking down for the foreseeable future.

Earlier this offseason on March 7, Boston inked 24-year-old starting pitcher Brayan Bello to a six-year, $55 million deal. There have been reports that the front office has engaged with first baseman Triston Casas in extension talks as well. Casas finished third in last year's Rookie of the Year voting. The 24-year-old slugger revealed that the Red Sox had also made an offer to him around the same time as Bello's:

"There have been offers. There was an offer made a couple of weeks ago, right around the same time that Bello’s was made. My team, my agency, didn’t seem to think that the dollar amount the Red Sox put forward was the value that [the agents] see in me as a player."

Triston Casas to Alex Speier

The front office's approach to Bello, Casas, and now, Rafaela, is indicative of the "new Red Sox way" that is centered around retaining young talent, and there has been a growing industry trend within MLB front offices to extend younger players early, an approach that can be mutually beneficial.

From the team's perspective, they are undoubtedly overpaying in the player's pre-arbitration and arbitration years, but receiving a discount in the later years of the deal if the player realizes their potential. The Atlanta Braves were one of the revolutionaries of this philosophy.

With Rafaela's extension now signed, it will be interesting to see if the Red Sox return to the bargaining table with Triston Casas.

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