Boston third baseman Rafael Devers smiles while facing reporters on Wednesday during a news conference in Boston. Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via AP

BOSTON — Red Sox Manager Alex Cora had a sense Rafael Devers would be sticking around when the rough terms of a new deal were discussed during a high-level meeting in the Dominican Republic.

“I wanted to be there, just to hear when somebody tells you that you’re going to make all this money,” Cora said on Wednesday, when the team announced a 10-year deal that will pay Devers $331 million through 2033.

“His reaction was great. He was priceless,” Cora said. “His eyes got as big as when he sees a fastball right down the middle.”

Burned by the departures of Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox finally held onto a homegrown All-Star, locking Devers up before he would have had a chance to become a free agent after the upcoming season. Team President Sam Kennedy said the 10-year agreement is “a deal that we hope will keep him a Red Sox forever.”

“He’s not just a star: He’s our star,” Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom said. “It’s a wonderful thing to retain a homegrown player who loves Boston, and Boston … loves back.”

A two-time All-Star who first signed with the Red Sox as a 16-year-old, Devers he has batted .283 with 139 home runs and 455 RBI since being called up in 2017 at the age of 20. Over the past three seasons, he leads the majors with 149 doubles and 264 extra-base hits.


The Red Sox avoided arbitration this year by signing him to a one-year, $17.5 million deal. But he would have been eligible for free agency after the season, and that prospect was something that the Red Sox and their fans did not want to think about after seeing Betts traded in 2020 and Bogaerts walk last month.

So the team’s brain trust – including Bloom, Kennedy, Cora and owner John Henry – met with Devers and his agents at the player’s Dominican home in mid-December.

“My thought was they wouldn’t come all the way down to the Dominican Republic for no reason,” said Devers, who – unlike Betts and Bogaerts – had no desire to test the market. “Free agency isn’t easy. It’s a tough process and I just didn’t want to go through this.”

The final terms were hashed out on Dec. 31.

“I hope next year during the holidays we spend less time talking to each other,” Bloom said. “They’re great guys, but it’s not how I want to spend next New Year’s Eve.”

Although Bloom had entered the offseason saying his No. 1 goal was to re-sign Bogaerts, that shifted after the All-Star shortstop signed a $280 million, 11-year deal with the Padres. Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner said on Wednesday that signing Devers was “obviously an urgent priority.”


“We think his best years are even ahead of him because he’s in his mid-20s,” said Werner, whose presence at the news conference snapped a three-year general media availability drought for Red Sox ownership. “We did not want Raffy to become a free agent next year, and we’re delighted.”

If Devers plays out the contract, which would take him through his 37th birthday during the 2033 World Series, he would be a member of the Red Sox for 17 seasons, tying Tim Wakefield and trailing only Carl Yastrzemski (23), Dwight Evans (19) and Ted Williams (19).

Now 25, Devers thanked the Red Sox and their fans, “who adopted me since I was 16.” He promised that the long-term contract wouldn’t change him.

“That will never happen,” he said through a translator. “I just want to be the same guy that I’ve always been. Someone who has fun, enjoys the games and who is approachable.”

The Devers deal was a rare bit of good news this offseason for the Red Sox, who followed a last-place finish by losing not just Bogaerts as a free agent but also J.D. Martinez, Christian Vázquez, Nathan Eovaldi and Rich Hill. On Tuesday, the team revealed that Bogaerts’ likely replacement at shortstop, Trevor Story, will miss most or all of the season recovering from elbow surgery.

Bloom asked fans to be patient.


“What we always talk about is … consistently contending for championships. I’m hoping that vision’s a little bit clearer here today, knowing that this guy’s going to be right in the middle of it,” he said, nodding toward Devers.

“We’ve taken a couple of haymakers; you know what, we’re probably going to take a couple more. This is baseball. It’s not supposed to be easy,” he said. “But I want to be clear: We’re going to do this, and it’s going to be awesome. And we are going to get there.”

NOT FOR SALE: Also Wednesday, Werner said that Red Sox ownership is not looking to sell the team. Fenway Sports Group, which owns the baseball team along with the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, Liverpool of the English Premier League and the Roush Fenway Keselowski NASCAR team, has said it is open to new investors in the soccer club.

The money would be used for new investments, with an NBA franchise at the top of the wish list.

“There are absolutely no plans” to sell, Werner said. “I’m 72. John is 72. We have a desire to win many more World Series here. As long as we’re healthy, we’re going to be hoepfully improving the stewardship of the Red Sox. … Our heart and soul is with the Red Sox.”

CONTRACT DETAILS: Rafael Devers has $75 million in deferred salaries in his new contract with the Boston Red Sox, who committed $331 million over 11 seasons to the third baseman but will not fully pay the money until 2043.


Boston on Wednesday finalized a 10-year contract worth $313.5 million that covers 2024-33 and follows a $17.5 million, one-year agreement reached on Jan. 3.

Devers’ long-term deal includes a $20 million signing bonus, of which $5 million is payable each February from 2023-26. He gets salaries of $27.5 million a year from 2024-26, $31 million annually from 2027-30 and $29 million per season from 2031-33.

In each season of the long-term deal, $7.5 million will be deferred. The money will be payable 10 years after the season in which it is earned, half on Feb. 1 and half on Nov. 30. Devers would receive a $2 million assignment bonus if traded, payable by the receiving team.

Devers was the AL’s starting All-Star third baseman each of the past two years. In 141 games last season, he batted .295 with 42 doubles, 27 home runs and 88 RBI.

Boston hopes to bounce back after finishing last in the AL East at 78-84. The Red Sox won 92 games in 2021 and reached the AL Championship Series.

Last week, the Red Sox agreed to a $21.7 million, two-year contract with third baseman Justin Turner. His deal includes a $8.3 million salary this year and a $13.4 million player option for 2024 with a $6.7 million buyout. Turner can earn an additional $1 million in performance bonuses this year based on plate appearances: $200,000 for 480 plate appearances and each additional 20 through 560.


THE NEWS THAT infielder Trevor Story will miss a significant part of the 2023 season added an important – and redundant – item to the to-do list of chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom as he attempts to complete Boston’s roster before Opening Day.

The December departure of shortstop Xander Bogaerts had already left the Red Sox short up the middle, so the news that Story will miss time after having elbow surgery Monday just compounded an already existent problem on Boston’s roster. At present, the Red Sox have only one proven starter (Kiké Hernández) for three positions (second base, shortstop and center field). With that in mind, Bloom believes the Red Sox will make trades and/or add free agents in the coming weeks.

“I would expect we’re going to add,” Bloom said Tuesday. “Frankly, that was my expectation even before this. Whether that’s through free agency or trade, I don’t know yet. What that looks like, who it is, obviously it’s something we were already actively discussing even before this. Now, we’re a man down so we’re going to have to fortify ourselves further.

“Our expectation was always that in some way, shape or form, we would have outside additions joining our position player group. That’s still the case.”

Bloom is keeping an open mind when it comes to additions but did provide some hints as to who he might be targeting. A right-handed hitter makes the most sense because Boston’s lineup, as presently constructed, skews lefty. Versatile players are always valuable, he said, though players who are locked into one position are on the table, too.

While two additions would make sense, Bloom didn’t rule out the possibility of more than that. There’s also a world in which Alex Verdugo moves to center field, Hernández goes to the infield and the Red Sox add a corner outfielder, though that doesn’t seem to be the club’s top choice.

“I think we want to add as much as we can,” Bloom said.

If there’s a silver lining to Boston’s attempt to replace Story, it’s that the club is already very familiar with its options. Still, the unexpected blow is a sizable loss for an unsettled positional group.

“This is a big one, especially coming before the season, before we even get rolling,” Bloom said. “But we want to make sure we have a number of different options on the infield.”

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