The Red Sox are committing to another one of their youngest, newest homegrown rising stars.

The Sox are in agreement with Ceddanne Rafaela on a pre-arbitration extension, pending a physical, according to the Boston Herald and first reported by MassLive

The news comes less than 24 hours before Boston’s home opener at Fenway Park. It’s the club’s second pre-arbitration deal since the beginning of March. Brayan Bello signed a six-year, $55 million extension.

According to Mark Feinsand of, Rafaela’s extension is for eight years at $50 million, which covers the remainder of his club control and pushes his free agency from the 2029-30 offseason to 2031-32. The structure is not yet known, but will likely include a signing bonus and escalators based on performance and awards.

In 2022, Rafaela played 71 games for the Portland Sea Dogs with a .284 batting average, 12 home runs and 50 RBI. He started 2023 in Portland and played 60 games, hitting .294 with six home runs and 37 RBI before his promotion to Triple A Worcester, where he played 48 games with a .312 average with 14 homers and 42 RBI.

It’s immediately one of the most significant transactions by the club in the last decade. Within the organization and around the game, the 23-year-old infielder-turned-outfielder has long been considered a perennial Gold Glove outfielder in the making. After a strong spring training, de made the Opening Day roster as the club’s starting center fielder and immediately began showing off his elite defensive talent and improved plate discipline.


Rafaela also offers the Sox defensive depth at second base and shortstop. He’s likely to spend more time in the infield with Trevor Story injured but Craig Breslow wasn’t prepared to “commit to anything yet” when asked about a position change on Monday.

DALBEC OPTIONED: Ahead of Tuesday’s home opener, the Red Sox optioned Bobby Dalbec to Triple-A Worcester in exchange for a fellow infielder who’s been tearing the covers off minor league baseballs.

After spending most of the 2023 season in Triple-A, Dalbec put together a solid spring training and claimed a bench spot on the Opening Day roster. He saw limited playing time on the 10-game west coast trip, making one start, appearing in five other games and going 0 for 9 with six strikeouts.

Though the Red Sox initially announced the transaction without a corresponding move, a source confirmed to the Boston Herald that Roman “Romy” González will take Dalbec’s place.

The 27-year-old infielder is a newcomer to the organization, claimed off waivers from the White Sox at the end of January. Chicago selected him in the 18th round of the 2018 June draft, and he debuted in early September ’21. He appeared in 86 games for the White Sox over the past three seasons, and is a career .222/.239/.361 hitter with 86 strikeouts and just five walks at the big-league level.

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