Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers will be one of Major League Baseball's biggest bargains in 2020.
The team announced Monday it had reached contract agreements with 19 players for the upcoming season, as well as the renewal of Devers' contract for 2020. The Boston Globe's Alex Speier tweeted Devers will make $692,500 this year, which is incredible value for one of the league's best young players.
Other notable 2020 salaries for pre-arb-eligible Red Sox:— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) March 9, 2020
Rafael Devers $692.5K
Alex Verdugo $601.5K
Ryan Weber $600K
Ryan Brasier $584.5K
Marcus Walden $579.5K
Josh Taylor $577K
All others, including Michael Chavis ($571K), were within $10K of the 2020 minimum of $563.5K.
Devers enjoyed a breakout 2019 during which he batted .311 with 32 home runs, 115 RBI and a .361 on-base percentage. The 23-year-old's 201 hits ranked second in the American League behind Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield's 206.
In fact, Devers compares favorably to Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout in a few important statistical categories since making his MLB debut in 2017 (no, we're not saying Devers is as good as Trout, but it's an encouraging start for the young star).
Devers will be eligible for arbitration after the 2020 season, and at that time he can expect a massive raise, especially if he continues to rank among the AL's best third basemen.
It would behoove the Red Sox to sign him to a long-term extension before he becomes too expensive. The Red Sox cannot afford a repeat of the Mookie Betts situation if they're going to compete for World Series titles in the near future.