Third baseman Rafael Devers and the Boston Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $17.5 million contract Tuesday
The one-year agreement avoids arbitration, and they can still have discussions about a long-term extension, according to ESPN.
The 26-year-old is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2023 MLB season.
The Red Sox retain Devers for at least another season after they recently lost All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts, slugger J.D. Martinez and pitcher Nathan Eovaldi in free agency.
The organization has some motivation to keep the young star in Boston for the foreseeable future. Devers hit .295/.358/.521 with 27 home runs and 88 RBIs last season.
He hit 139 homers over his first six big league seasons.
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Boston did bolster its bullpen this offseason with the signings of relievers Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin and Joely Rodriguez. The Red Sox bullpen had a 4.59 ERA last season, which was fifth-worst in MLB.
The Red Sox also recently added outfielder Masataka Yoshida and infielder Justin Turner to the roster.
Devers, starting pitcher Chris Sale, relievers Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier are the last remaining holdovers from Boston’s 2018 World Series championship team.
Boston’s lineup will be anchored by Devers in 2023. He joined the big league club during the 2017 season, when the team was in the middle of a pennant race.
Japanese rookie Yoshida, Kiké Hernández, and Alex Verdugo are also expected to be key contributors next season.
Boston is coming off a disappointing 78-84 season and finished in last place in the American League East.
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