Source: Red Sox plan on offering Rafael Devers contract extension

Rob Bradford
September 28, 2019 - 1:54 pm
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Rafael Devers has earned a conversation reserved for a select few in Major League Baseball.

According to a source, the Red Sox are planning on offering Devers a contract extension in the offseason. The team has not extended the 22-year-old such an offer to date.

Devers is completing just his second full big-league season, making $614,500 in 2019. He will be eligible for arbitration after the 2020 campaign.

Mike Trout holds the record for largest extension for a player signing an extension with two-plus years service time, inking a six-year, $144.5 million deal. The longest pre-arbitration extension signed is Ryan Braun, who agreed to an eight-year deal with Milwaukee in 2008.

A good comparison for Devers might be Alex Bregman, who inked a five-year, $100 million contract last March. At the time of the agreement (which doesn't kick in until 2020) the Astros third baseman carried roughly the same level of service time the Sox slugger will possess heading into next season. The pair have very similar numbers -- in terms of batting average, OPS and home runs -- after their first two full major league seasons.

Devers headed into Saturday leading the majors with 89 extra-base hits and is the first player with 89 or more extra-base hits before turning 23 since Alex Rodriguez (91 in 1996). With two games left in the regular season he was hitting .309 with a .916 OPS and 32 homers.

Such an extension will become increasingly important for the Red Sox, whose ownership group has stated its goal heading into 2020 is to cut payroll to under $208 million.