Red Sox extend Devers—11 years, $332 million

LesterFan

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My two cents, I would only give a megadeal to a guy who is going to give you a consistent 4-6 WAR for the first 6 or so years and who either plays a premium position or plays his position very well. Devers does not play a premium position nor is he a wizard at third, and he's not a lock to hit enough to make up for it in my book.
In his last 3 full seasons, not including 2020, he's put up WAR of 6.7, 4.2, 4.9. wRC+ of 132, 133, 141. Last season he was having his best season with a 170 wRC+ and 22 homers through July 22nd. Then he suffered the hamstring injury and wasn't the same after coming back, posting a 92 wRC+ with just 5 homers the final two months. How exactly is he not a lock to hit enough to be a 4-6 win player when that's exactly what he's already been? If anything we should expect his bat to get even better in the coming years.
 

RG33

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I look forward to listening to all of the complaints about how out-of-shape Devers is 6 weeks from now and how Bloom overspent and didn’t do his homework.
 

Tokyo Sox

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Care to explain this? Please, be as detailed as possible.
I'm not familiar with the poster's oeuvre so I'm guessing there's some history there that means they don't get the benefit of the doubt, but I thought it was a joke-y reference to the fact that Yoshida introduced himself in English at his press conference. Obviously there's not even going to be a Devers introductory pc.

If he meant anything else, then yes, gross.
 

InstaFace

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Great deal. Would much prefer this to the X or Betts deals. This will also help them sell other FAs that they're building a contender, which was in doubt lately, to put it lightly.
 

snowmanny

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Really good, really necessary deal. Who knows how it all goes but they were screwed for while without this signing.
 

simplicio

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There's time. Through age 25:

Devers: 2958 PA, .283/.342/.512, .358 wOBA, 123 wRC+
Ortiz: 1176 PA: .261/.351/.446, .345 wOBA, 101 wRC+

They'll be easier to compare going forward with the shift ban. I don't think Devers will ever reach the level of Papi's plate discipline, especially during this era of pitching advancements, but I think Devers is probably more consistently a .300 hitter than he has been.
Also, Devers's awful August last year kinda masked the fact that he already looks like prime-era Ortiz by wRC+ when not injured. His first half wRC+ was 170, then 168 in July and 152 in September. It was the 30 in August that brought his whole season down. (Ortiz's best career marks were 175 in 2007, 170 in 2012 and 163 in 2016)
 

DJnVa

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He's nowhere near prime-Ortiz territory as a hitter. But he has a chance to be.
What's crazy is at the same age Ortiz was still plugging away in Minnesota, and had 38 career HRs and career OPS+ of 103.
 

jbupstate

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I'm very interested in why this matters. Why does this matter to you?
I didn’t write the post and do not want to answer for anyone But I wanted to respond.

I could care less what language Devers speaks at the press conference. It doesn’t really matter. But since he’s going to be in town his entire career, it would be awesome if he could eventually feel comfortable enough to give press in both Spanish and English and whatever other languages he might eventually choose.

I think it’s fantastic that Xander speaks multiple languages. I am amazed when #37 on the Bruins gives press in English considering he barely spoke any as a rookie. Learning a second language isn’t easy. I think it’s very impressive and hope Devers gets there one day…. partly to make his expert baseball thoughts more accessible to fans of which I am one of many. As we know from the Yoshida press conference, sometimes translators don’t get it 100% right.
 

Rovin Romine

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What's crazy is at the same age Ortiz was still plugging away in Minnesota, and had 38 career HRs and career OPS+ of 103.
In one sense that's interesting, but in another Raffy has a long way to go. If you look at batting ratios, Ortiz had walk percentages of 11 and above. He struck out usually less than 20% of the time, and his HR % went to 5% at age 25, then up over 6 for his first 4 seasons with Boston. (His age 26 season was a bit of a regression.)

Raffy's has had more success much earlier, but it's built on a walk % that's much lower, peaking at 9%. Raffy's strikeout % is much higher, although he came down below 20% last year. And his HR rate has been in the low 4% (with a spike in 2021.)

Ortiz was also more of a flyball hitter.

All in all, Raffy has a lot of talent, but his approach leads to very different results. Direct age comparisons don't really account for the different types of seasons they've each had thusfar in their careers. But Raffy's numbers are sort of trending below Ortiz's at a similar age.
 

scottyno

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The most similar hitters on baseball ref. Hope the predictive value is not great.

Similar Batters through 25

  1. Eric Chavez (967.0)
  2. Ryan Zimmerman (950.8)
  3. Bob Horner (948.3)
  4. David Wright (936.0)
  5. Scott Rolen (934.1)
  6. Evan Longoria (923.8)
  7. Troy Glaus (919.9)
  8. Harlond Clift (919.5)
  9. Nolan Arenado (917.7)
  10. Ron Santo (915.2) *
4 of those guys are or have a good chance to be hall of famers, and a 5th was well on his way until effectively career ending injuries at age 31
 

scottyno

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Look at what most did after age 26.
4 of them are going to end up with 60+ career war, and Wright was well on his way if he had a typical declined rather than a sharp ending at age 31, so I think they did ok.

I also don't have specific stats to back it up, but I assume guys are aging much better now than they did the generations ago several of these guys played.
 
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simplicio

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In one sense that's interesting, but in another Raffy has a long way to go. If you look at batting ratios, Ortiz had walk percentages of 11 and above. He struck out usually less than 20% of the time, and his HR % went to 5% at age 25, then up over 6 for his first 4 seasons with Boston. (His age 26 season was a bit of a regression.)

Raffy's has had more success much earlier, but it's built on a walk % that's much lower, peaking at 9%. Raffy's strikeout % is much higher, although he came down below 20% last year. And his HR rate has been in the low 4% (with a spike in 2021.)

Ortiz was also more of a flyball hitter.

All in all, Raffy has a lot of talent, but his approach leads to very different results. Direct age comparisons don't really account for the different types of seasons they've each had thusfar in their careers. But Raffy's numbers are sort of trending below Ortiz's at a similar age.
A direct comparison of numbers like that isn't very useful. The game is played so differently now, even just in the six seasons since Ortiz retired. Across all of baseball, we're seeing 2 more Ks per game than we were 20 years ago, and batting averages have dropped 20 points in that time. Pitching, hitting, and fielding have all been optimized and involve a very different approach.
 

jteders1

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Late to the party on this, but I’m ecstatic. Exactly the type of player you give this contract to. I’m still 50/50 on Bloom, and haven’t liked some of his moves, but to lock up Denver’s in his age 26 season for 11 years is a coo. Regarding what to do with this roster for 23, we’re still light on hitting and major question marks are all over the pitching staff, but the opportunity to improve the club substantially is limited. At this point, sign Iglasias, and call it an off season. Devers was the key cog for the next great Sox team, that’s locked in. Go into this year with the hope that your bets pay off and we’re competitive for a playoff spot. Now, stay under the threshold, and see what happens. If we’re competitive, great. If not we could have some attractive options to deal at the deadline. I have more hope in this front office now than I did 4 hours ago, and that’s a nice feeling.
 

JM3

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The most similar hitters on baseball ref. Hope the predictive value is not great.

Similar Batters through 25

  1. Eric Chavez (967.0)
  2. Ryan Zimmerman (950.8)
  3. Bob Horner (948.3)
  4. David Wright (936.0)
  5. Scott Rolen (934.1)
  6. Evan Longoria (923.8)
  7. Troy Glaus (919.9)
  8. Harlond Clift (919.5)
  9. Nolan Arenado (917.7)
  10. Ron Santo (915.2) *
Look at what most did after age 26.
Checking out the through age 25 & the next 11 years for each of the guys seems like a fun thing to do on my phone right now lol...

With inflation, we should probably hope for a minimum of around 33 fWAR over the life of the contract to kind of break even.

All #s are fWAR - through 25/26-36.

Eric Chavez - 18.7/17.0
Ryan Zimmerman - 24.1/15.1
Bob Horner - 15.9/3.6
David Wright - 28.2/23.0
Scott Rolen - 20.4/48.7
Evan Longoria - 26.6/27.9
Troy Glaus - 18.8/15.5
Harlond Clift - 21.9/17.0
Nolan Arenado - 14.8/30.9 (5 years left)
Ron Santo - 26.2/44.7

Rafael Devers - 18.1/?

So yeah...pretty scary comps. Rolen & Santo crushed it, & it looks like Arenado will get there, but the other 7 would have produced negative value on the equivalent of an 11/$331m deal.
 

OldeBeanTowne

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This is great news. Is there any reason to believe that someone with Devers' body type, may "grow" into his body as he matures further? I know he's 26, but some people and, I'd guess, potentially certain body types age differently. Could a thirty year old Devers look more like a comparably aged Adrián Beltré, to use a name mentioned earlier in the thread?

For reference, Devers is listed at 6' and 240lbs, while Beltré is 5' 11” 220lbs at Baseball Reference.

I ask because I've seen concern mentioned about the risk of Devers potentially "ballooning" as he gets older, but what are the chances that, with several more years in a regimented professional training environment, he becomes even more "athletic" in body composition?
 

reggiecleveland

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4 of them are going to end up with 60+ career war, and Wright was well on his way if he had a typical declined rather than a sharp ending at age 31, so I think they did ok.

I also don't have specific stats to back it up, but I assume guys are aging much better now than they did the generations ago several of these guys played.
Only 3 of them are from anything close to a different generation, and on eof those guys had probably the best career.
 

scottyno

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Only 3 of them are from anything close to a different generation, and on eof those guys had probably the best career.
Sports generations and life generations aren't the same. You're a coach, you don't think players are better conditioned to last longer now then they were even at a minimum 20 years ago?

Only 4 of them had careers that overlapped with Devers, 2 would be very good results to his career, 1 would be terrible, and 1 would end up mediocre and would have been great if injuries didn't end his career pretty much instantly.
 

MtPleasant Paul

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Nah, I'd like to see this person lay out their exact thoughts. I'm sure they're well-reasoned and will make them welcome on this message board.
Nah, I'd like to see this person lay out their exact thoughts. I'm sure they're well-reasoned and will make them welcome on this message board.
Because English is the basic language of the fan base. Speaking it in public will help Raffie connect with fans who want to know him better. I think most of us would be really happy if he read s statement or spoke a few words in English when he appears at the signing ceremony.

Masataka Toshida seemed to understand the importance of connecting with players and fans when he pledged at his introduction to try to learn English.

I'm expressing a personal preference. I love the guy whatever language he speaks. And he already speaks English. He's uncomfortable speaking it in interviews. Now that he is the face of the franchise it's time for him to step up.
 

streeter88

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Now that he is the face of the franchise it's time for him to step up.
Really? He has to speak English just because he’s the best player on the team? I don’t agree and frankly, that’s one of the more provincial and head in the sand attitudes I’ve ever heard.

But if you said that every American school kid should learn a second language, that I would agree with. and given how many Americans already speak Spanish, maybe we should start with that.
 

CaptainLaddie

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Because English is the basic language of the fan base. Speaking it in public will help Raffie connect with fans who want to know him better. I think most of us would be really happy if he read s statement or spoke a few words in English when he appears at the signing ceremony.

Masataka Toshida seemed to understand the importance of connecting with players and fans when he pledged at his introduction to try to learn English.

I'm expressing a personal preference. I love the guy whatever language he speaks. And he already speaks English. He's uncomfortable speaking it in interviews. Now that he is the face of the franchise it's time for him to step up.
Okay, but why do you care so much about this?

Raffy is a Sox favorite and already a legend in many ways. As Sox fans we're likely married to the guy for the next decade -- and I couldn't be happier as the father of a kid who likes anyone named "Raffi". Considering that our cat's brother is named Mookie (unrelated to the former Sox) this is a best case scenario. I can dress my kid in Devers gear for the forseeable future.

Why do you care if he speaks English rather than his native language?

If he's uncomfortable speaking English and you love the guy (your words), what's the big deal?

Why does he have to "step up"?

Be specific. Because he's under no obligation to you or anyone else to address the media in any language in any other than what he's comfortable with. I'm glad Toshida addressed them in English. Good for him! Devers doesn't owe you or the media a thing.
 

Doc Zero

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Masataka Toshida seemed to understand the importance of connecting with players and fans when he pledged at his introduction to try to learn English.
If a player wants to learn another language while they play out a multi-year contract in a new country, that’s cool. Sounds like fun—might be good for a couple NESN rain delay clips. I don’t think any other player should be expected to do the same. They’re not getting paid to do this.

Also, if you want to demonstrate the importance of connecting fans and players, maybe you can start by getting their names right. I don’t usually call this shit out, but, buddy…
 

Doc Zero

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Also, at the risk of posting too much about this, it’s entirely disingenuous to frame this as an obligation for a player to feel comfortable enough to do something, rather than a fan demanding that a player make them feel more comfortable.
 

Tokyo Sox

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Because English is the basic language of the fan base. Speaking it in public will help Raffie connect with fans who want to know him better. I think most of us would be really happy if he read s statement or spoke a few words in English when he appears at the signing ceremony.

Masataka Toshida seemed to understand the importance of connecting with players and fans when he pledged at his introduction to try to learn English.

I'm expressing a personal preference. I love the guy whatever language he speaks. And he already speaks English. He's uncomfortable speaking it in interviews. Now that he is the face of the franchise it's time for him to step up.
Not to pile on but I think this is, at best, misguided. @Doc Zero and others have ably explained why but just to offer some other perspective I'll add that here in Japan, each of the twelve NPB teams have a handful of non-Japanese players -- Dominicans, Venezuelans, Cubans, Americans, etc. On the one hand I understand where you're coming from because I see how excited local fans get when an American player manages even a badly mispronounced "aragato gozaimas" or the like. It's usually a nice if poorly executed attempt to assimilate and to ingratiate themselves with the fanbase here, and the fans do indeed appreciate it.

But when that does happen, it's a nice feel-good gesture, not something that should be expected or demanded. It would be absurd if anyone demanded Domingo Santana do his post-game interviews in Japanese, or any language other than what he wants to speak, because that's not his job. His job, like Devers, is to play ball. Devers already rakes, and seems like he has a ton of fun doing it. I'm not sure why you need anything more than that from him. Maybe he doesn't care to connect with you, or other "fans who want to know him better"? Maybe if you really love him so much, you could learn to connect with him instead of demanding he meet you where you are?

TL;DR there's a big difference between appreciating attempts to speak a foreign language, and demanding that someone does it. You're doing the latter here and I find that indefensible and...weird.

Lastly, the bolded just strikes me as a weird brand of jingoism. If he's uncomfortable doing it, why do you want to make him uncomfortable? How does speaking English at all represent "stepping up"? It's a bizarre assertion to make.
 

Tokyo Sox

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Also, if you want to demonstrate the importance of connecting fans and players, maybe you can start by getting their names right. I don’t usually call this shit out, but, buddy…
I think @CaptainLaddie 's violation is more egregious on this one. The T is next to the Y on my (English) keyboard, so I gave MPP the benefit of the doubt there. But when Laddie then spells it the same way...
 

beautokyo

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Not to pile on but I think this is, at best, misguided. @Doc Zero and others have ably explained why but just to offer some other perspective I'll add that here in Japan, each of the twelve NPB teams have a handful of non-Japanese players -- Dominicans, Venezuelans, Cubans, Americans, etc. On the one hand I understand where you're coming from because I see how excited local fans get when an American player manages even a badly mispronounced "aragato gozaimas" or the like. It's usually a nice if poorly executed attempt to assimilate and to ingratiate themselves with the fanbase here, and the fans do indeed appreciate it.

But when that does happen, it's a nice feel-good gesture, not something that should be expected or demanded. It would be absurd if anyone demanded Domingo Santana do his post-game interviews in Japanese, or any language other than what he wants to speak, because that's not his job. His job, like Devers, is to play ball. Devers already rakes, and seems like he has a ton of fun doing it. I'm not sure why you need anything more than that from him. Maybe he doesn't care to connect with you, or other "fans who want to know him better"? Maybe if you really love him so much, you could learn to connect with him instead of demanding he meet you where you are?

TL;DR there's a big difference between appreciating attempts to speak a foreign language, and demanding that someone does it. You're doing the latter here and I find that indefensible and...weird.

Lastly, the bolded just strikes me as a weird brand of jingoism. If he's uncomfortable doing it, why do you want to make him uncomfortable? How does speaking English at all represent "stepping up"? It's a bizarre assertion to make.
Well said!
 

JimD

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Very happy about this deal, all the way around. It's a more 'team-friendly' deal than I expected, as much as a $331 million deal qualifies for that description, given that Devers absolutely had ownership over a barrel and likely left money on the table. Also glad to see that Bloom doesn't subscribe to the Dombrowski mindset of giving away opt-outs like Halloween candy. It's just a relief to start of move away from the gloom and doom narrative surrounding this team and feel excited about Red Sox baseball again, even if this move doesn't necessarily represent an addition.
 

jacklamabe65

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The older I get, the more I realize that I don't know. Accordingly, would it be too much to keep Houck but offer Nick Yorke to San Diego for Ha-Seong Kim and perhaps another SD player or not? Kim could obviously be a solid bridge to Mayer, even as the rest of the infield is set. Glad and relieved to see Raffy for the next decade in a Boston uniform!
 

KingChre

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My two cents, I would only give a megadeal to a guy who is going to give you a consistent 4-6 WAR for the first 6 or so years and who either plays a premium position or plays his position very well. Devers does not play a premium position nor is he a wizard at third, and he's not a lock to hit enough to make up for it in my book.

It's fine because it's just one contract, and he should be all-star level for the first 5 years. But I don't see why you sign this guy to this deal and not Mookie or Bogaerts unless you just totally misread their markets. Or, save the tax space for upcoming stars you're hoping to sign who are better.

This is market rate and it could give them headaches in the second half of it if things go right with the farm and you have stars elsewhere that need to be paid and Devers is declining. Yes he can move to DH but anyone can move to DH, you only do that if you can't play the more valuable positions.

It seems like it's a move responding to the bad press which isn't how I want them to run the team. At least he's already here so we know he can play in Fenway, but I'm giving this a C+. Would they have made this deal if they hadn't lost Bogaerts? They'll never tell you but I wonder.
I think you've answered your own question. I think it's more applicable to X than Mookie, but the Devers deal strikes me as 100% reactionary. I'm happy they re-signed him. But this is one of the very rare times that Henry DID in fact listen to public sentiment.

Also I very much loved seeing Henry get booed so vociferously. I've never, ever liked him, regardless of whatever joy I've derived from the successes of the sports segment of his portfolio.
 

moondog80

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I don't love this deal but it's not as bad as I thought it might have been. I don't hate it. Given his age, I'd rather take on this commitment than Xander's, by far.
 

Archer1979

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Given the crazy money being thrown around this year, $30MM seems sane in comparison. Long-term commitment, but if the Sox and Devers can manage his health (which, IMHO, means he eventually becomes a DH), the 11 years doesn't seem like the albatross that it could be with someone like Bogaerts. If Devers had hit the open market next year, the parameters of this contract were probably the starting point for a serious negotiation so stating that $30MM a year is a team-friendly contract isn't that far off the mark for someone that you're going to build your line-up around.

I haven't been too keen on Bloom so far, but this is a win.
 

joe dokes

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"Henry is cheap"
"Bloom is not very good at this and thinks he's still in TB"
(Sox sign Devers)
"They only did it because the fans complained about Henry being cheap and Bloom not being very good at this."

Also I very much loved seeing Henry get booed so vociferously. I've never, ever liked him, regardless of whatever joy I've derived from the successes of the sports segment of his portfolio.
I am curious about the bolded. He's always struck me as a weird guy. I'm agnostic about him as a person. But what makes you not like him? Is it something personal (not that you'd have to explain what it is). For me, the *only* thing about him to like or not like is the "sports segment of his portfolio."
 

Jimbodandy

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around the way
"Henry is cheap"
"Bloom is not very good at this and thinks he's still in TB"
(Sox sign Devers)
"They only did it because the fans complained about Henry being cheap and Bloom not being very good at this."


I am curious about the bolded. He's always struck me as a weird guy. I'm agnostic about him as a person. But what makes you not like him? Is it something personal (not that you'd have to explain what it is). For me, the *only* thing about him to like or not like is the "sports segment of his portfolio."
I can only surmise that "they only did it because Henry was booed at the hockey game" must be the radio talking point.

Never understood why Henry gets a bum rap around here. Before Henry came along, the last managing partner/owner who won a title was born when there were only 38 states.
 

cornwalls@6

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I can only surmise that "they only did it because Henry was booed at the hockey game" must be the radio talking point.

Never understood why Henry gets a bum rap around here. Before Henry came along, the last managing partner/owner who won a title was born when there were only 38 states.
It is definitely talk radio/media driven, IMO. Somewhere along the line a fair amount of people derived satisfaction and identity from being the long suffering/angry/demanding/irrational Boston fan. When events on the ground made that persona increasingly ridiculous to maintain , they just couldn’t let go of it. And the hot take industrial complex is all too happy to keep them ginned up. Hence, fire Bill Belichick , and John Henry is cheap, cares more about Liverpool, the Penguins, etc.