Boston Red Sox

One of, if not the biggest long-term storyline surrounding the Boston Red Sox right now is the contract situation of Rafael Devers. The 25-year-old third baseman will play a second arbitration year in 2022, with the team only having one more year of control through arbitration in 2023. After that, he’s set to become a free agent.

While the Red Sox do have 2023 arbitration at their disposal, they can sign Devers to a long-term extension before that. To this point though, those conversations have not begun. “The Red Sox have not approached me about a contract extension,” Devers told Red Sox Spanish language play-by-play announcer Nilson Pepén on Tuesday. “I am open to conversations. This is my home. Obviously, I want to be here.”

There could be a few things holding up the contract discussions. Such conversations usually happen during Spring Training, but teams were not able to talk to players during the lockout – which began on Dec. 2.

At the same time, Red Sox fans may have reason to be skeptical about Devers’ future – even as he calls Boston his home. The Red Sox have struggled to retain star players in recent years, highlighted by the trade of Mookie Betts in 2020.

If the Red Sox don’t get a deal done with Devers soon, next offseason could be a wild one. In addition to Devers being in his final year of team control, Xander Bogaerts can and reportedly plans to opt out of his contract. The team could be facing the departure of its two best hitters – and two franchise cornerstone players – in one offseason.

That all being said, the Sox still have plenty of time to negotiate with Devers. They also have room to maneuver, with their current payroll sitting about $20 million under the new CBT threshold.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.