After losing Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and countless other stars in recent years, the Boston Red Sox appear determined not to let Rafael Devers go.
Devers, 26, is entering his final season before free agency, but the Red Sox remain hard at work in hammering out a contract extension with him before he reaches that point, according to MLB insider Jon Heyman.
Rafael Devers Red Sox News
With Bogaerts gone, extending Devers has become Boston's top offseason priority. The team notoriously failed to get an extension done with Bogaerts last winter, opening the door for him to leave.
Bogaerts' departure last week appears to have given the Red Sox a renewed sense of urgency regarding Devers. They were reminded once again that players can, and will, leave if you let them go to free agency.
Locking up Devers is even more important now that Bogaerts is gone. Devers is one of the few remaining links to Boston's 2018 World Series squad and is currently the team's longest-tenured position player. He's also easily their best player and their only legitimate star, so the front office can't afford to lose him, too.
The Red Sox were rumored to be working on an extension with Devers last season and visited him in the Dominican Republic earlier this offseason for his birthday. The two sides are still believed to be about $100 million apart in negotiations, however, so there's still a lot of work to be done.
At this point, it's hard to imagine Devers signing an extension unless Boston blows him out of the water. He just saw Bogaerts get $275 million on the open market as a 30-year-old, and Devers will only be 27. Some are speculating that he'll seek a 13-year deal worth over $300 million, similar to the ones Trea Turner and Carlos Correa just received.
If that's the case, the Red Sox better be ready to pony up, otherwise they're about to watch another homegrown star walk out the door.