Red Sox

MLB Rumors: Red Sox plan to offer Rafael Devers a contract extension in the offseason

MLB Rumors: Red Sox plan to offer Rafael Devers a contract extension in the offseason

The Red Sox may have not hired a new general manager yet, but they appear motivated to lock up one of its building blocks in Rafael Devers. 

According to Rob Bradford, the Red Sox are planning to offer Devers a contract extension during the upcoming offseason. The 22-year-old star is up for arbitration following the 2020 season, so Boston could theoretically buy those arbitration years out with a multi-year extension now. 

Bradford pointed to Astros infielder Alex Bregman's contract as an apt comparison for Devers' situation. Bregman agreed to a five-year, $100 million extension in March that begins at the start of next season. Bregman had a similar amount of service time and production at the time of his extension, so Devers could be in line for a contract of similar size as well. 

Devers had a break out year in 2019. He has a .309/.360/.556 slash line with 32 home runs, 115 RBI and a league-leading 53 doubles heading into Boston's final game of the year. He has career-highs in virtually every offensive category and showed serious defensive development at the hot corner. 

The power-hitting lefty showed real promise when he was called up in 2017 and had an up-and-down 2018. The talent was there, he just needed to put it all together, and this year he certainly did that. 

The Red Sox have plenty of big decisions to make regarding their own stars as they look to fill out their front office. Mookie Betts' contract needs to be addressed while J.D. Martinez will likely opt-out after this season as well. Boston could be in for serious change, but it appears retaining Devers is a priority for the organization. 

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A look back at the last 10 Opening Day ceremonial first pitches at Fenway Park

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AP Images

A look back at the last 10 Opening Day ceremonial first pitches at Fenway Park

Thursday was supposed to be a special day in Boston.

The Red Sox were scheduled to host the Chicago White Sox for Opening Day at Fenway Park. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we're going to have to wait a while longer before the first pitch of the 2020 season is thrown

But that doesn't mean we can't take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the most iconic Red Sox home opener moments. From Tom Brady to Carl Yastrzemski, a number of Boston legends have kicked off the baseball season in Boston with memorable first pitches.

Let's take a look back at the last 10 of them with some Opening Day Dreaming Delivered by Coors Light.

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2010 - Johnny Pesky

Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky began a new decade of Red Sox baseball by tossing out the first pitch at Fenway Park alongside Pedro Martinez. The ceremonies took place before Boston's opening game vs. the rival Yankees.

2011 - Carl Yastrzemski

Yaz hadn't made many appearances at Fenway Park after retiring in 1984, but he returned to throw out the first pitch prior to the 2011 home opener against the Yankees.

2012 - Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield

Photo via AP

After many seasons as Red Sox mainstays, both Varitek and Wakefield decided to call it a career prior to the 2012 MLB season. The two Red Sox icons joined forces to celebrate their careers with the ceremonial first pitch in 2012.

2013 - Jimmy Fund patients

The 2013 Opening Day ceremonies were a tribute to the 60th anniversary of the Red Sox' relationship with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. It is the longest-standing team/charity relationship in all of professional sports.

2014 - Mayor Marty Walsh

Former Boston mayor Thomas Menino assisted on the ceremonial first pitch for current mayor Marty Walsh, who threw some heat. They were joined by members of the 2004 World Series team.

2015 - Tom Brady

Photo via AP

Brady is no stranger to Red Sox Opening Day ceremonies. One of his appearances took place in 2015 as Boston celebrated the Patriots' unforgettable Super Bowl XLIX win over the Seattle Seahawks. We would have selected Malcolm Butler for this particular event, but Brady is always a safe choice.

2016 - Ty Law, Bobby Orr and Bill Russell

Photo via AP

The Red Sox hardly ever lack star power for their Opening Day ceremonies, and that much was evident in 2016. They had three Boston legends in the house as Hall of Famers Ty Law (Patriots), Bobby Orr (Bruins) and Bill Russell (Celtics) each threw out the first pitch.

2017 - Tom Brady

Perhaps one of the most memorable first pitches in Red Sox Opening Day history, Brady was joined by Rob Gronkowski and other former Patriots teammates to celebrate their Super Bowl LI win over the Atlanta Falcons.

2018 - U.S. women's hockey team, other medalists from Winter Olympics

Photo via AP

Four members of the gold medal-winning U.S. women's hockey team tossed first pitches alongside Paralympics silver medalist Jake Adicoff, luge silver medalist Chris Mazdzer and Paralympian Dan Cnossen, a gold medal-winning biathlete and former Navy SEAL who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan.

2019 - Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and Stephon Gilmore

Photo via AP

After the Red Sox celebrated their 2018 World Series title with a ring ceremony, they were joined by members of a Patriots team that had earned its sixth Super Bowl title two months earlier vs. the Los Angeles Rams. Edelman earned Super Bowl MVP honors.

Joe Kelly admits Mookie Betts' speech to Dodgers was 'cringey' at times

Joe Kelly admits Mookie Betts' speech to Dodgers was 'cringey' at times

You've probably heard about Mookie Betts' speech by now.

Shortly after the Boston Red Sox traded Betts to Los Angeles, the publicly soft-spoken outfielder stood up in the Dodgers' clubhouse and "essentially call(ed) everyone out," according to third baseman Justin Turner.

By all accounts, the content of Betts' speech was well-received. But Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly -- who was teammates with Betts in Boston before joining L.A. in 2019 -- offered some interesting insight on his delivery.

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"Me and DP (David Price) were looking at each other like -- it was good," Kelly told WEEI's Rob Bradford on "The Bradfo Show" podcast. "It was meant to go the right way, honestly. He's not very -- I don't know how to put it. He speaks well, but then when he has to plan something and speak in front of people he wasn’t too comfortable with, I think he was getting ahead of himself.

"The meaning behind what he was saying was very I think spot on, but I think the way he was saying it was kind of tough."

Betts never was a vocal leader in Boston -- he didn't need to be with David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia in the clubhouse -- and Kelly suggested that showed in the 27-year-old's speech, which perhaps was a little blunt for some.

"It was very well accepted. If he would have said it a little bit nicer or articulated it a little bit better, it would have come off stronger," Kelly said.

"It was kind of, once in a while, cringey. But then we all knew that his meaning behind it was accurate."

Cringey in what way, you ask?

"Some people need to have their hand held the whole time and some people need the, 'eff you;' some people need the, 'You are so good, just believe in yourself' kind of statement," Kelly explained. "And Mookie went the direct path, the direct route in front of 40 people."

Kelly reiterated that Betts got his point across loud and clear: That the Dodgers are the most talented team in baseball and shouldn't squander that talent.

The former American League MVP still is finding his footing as a leader, though, and according to Kelly, that manifested itself on one of his first days as a Dodger.