MLB rumors: Red Sox, Rafael Devers agree to one-year contract to avoid arbitration

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Report: Red Sox, Devers agree to one-year contract to avoid arbitration originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Red Sox still haven't signed Rafael Devers to a long-term contract extension, but they have agreed on a one-year deal with the star third baseman to avoid arbitration.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Tuesday that the Red Sox and Devers are in agreement on a one-year contract worth $17.5 million. Devers was eligible for arbitration, but that process is no longer necessary.

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This contract represents a raise of a little more than $6 million for Devers, who made $11.2 million in 2022, per Spotrac.

Devers will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2023 MLB season if he is not signed to an extension before that point. After losing franchise cornerstone players like Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts in recent years, the Red Sox cannot afford to let another major star such as Devers leave.

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The 26-year-old veteran hit .295 with 27 home runs, 88 RBI and a .358 on-base percentage in 141 games for the Red Sox last season. He's also been a strong postseason performer with a .303 average, eight homers, 26 RBI and a .382 on-base percentage in 26 career playoff games.

Devers is the only elite-level player on the Red Sox roster, so losing him would be a significant blow to a team that, as currently constructed, likely will finish in last place in the American League East division next season. Signing him to a long-term deal needs to be Boston's No. 1 priority in 2023.