Sign Devers, or Cash Out.

I’m known in my circles as a Red Sox ownership defender. Since the days of Eddie Andelman screaming that his buddy Frank McCourt should have been awarded the team (how’d that work out in LA), I’ve been generally supportive of the ownership.

I’m not an idiot, mind you. Henry is a creepy dude whose Christmas parties are probably “Eyes Wide Shut” themed, and Tom Warner made hundreds of millions by enabling (probably) the most prolific rapist in American history, and as a team they stand for nothing except how the breeze blows; they have principles, until they decide to do a 180 because of some bad press. But overall, 4 World Championships and top 5 spenders virtually, if not literally, every year…it’s hard to argue with that 20+ year run.

And I couldn’t care any less about Liverpool, Lebron, or the Pittsburgh Penguins. Who gives a shit? Sure, it’s fun to bring those things up when the Sox have a bad season, but if you think they really charge an extra 50 cents a beer, or don’t sign a new SS because Evgeni Malkin has a likely-to-be-earned goals scored incentive, or Carl Edwards needed a new muffler…. you are delirious.

But this offseason has me at a crossroads. It’s not just letting Bogaerts get away- I wouldn’t have signed him to that contract either. But it’s the way it played out. They were ALL over the place. They completely mis-read the market in the pre-season, offering him 90M. Then, they didn’t trade him because they couldn’t handle the PR heat after trading Betts. Then, they didn’t put forth a strong offer pre-free agency, only to scramble and put together a 160M offer that probably would’ve gotten the job done in April. A total clusterfuck. Add in missing out on any of the potential replacements they were “in the mix on”, and the rumblings that managerment “had to step in” during the X negotiations, and I have serious doubts about them being on the same page with the GM, and about anybody over there understanding how to read the market.

All that brings me to my main point- Rafael Devers.

I’ve been telling anyone who will listen, they should have offered this guy deals as far back as 2017-2018. Look around the league. THAT is when you get deals done for payroll friendly numbers. I know guys aren’t free agents for 6-7 years, but they hit arbitration and start making serious money after 3. You got to get them while they are young, and broke. Before they can see the free agent light at the end of that tunnel. The Braves have their TWO stars- Albies and Acuna- locked up for less combined money than Devers alone will get in his next contract. That’s how business is done. And the Red Sox, who pride themselves on being progressive leaders in the indusrty, have no excuse for having botched this with their best home-grown power hitter in decades.

But they do have a way out…a way to make it right.

Pay him. Whatever it takes. I mean that….WHATEVER IT TAKES. All in all, in 10 years, 30-35M is going to be what you’re paying 4th starters, so who cares if you have an aging Devers making that…it won’t really kill you if you manage everything else well.

You “lose” this contract…get bad value??? So what! That’s your punishment. Now don’t make the same mistake with the next guy. Re-position yourself, become aggressive locking young players up and you’ll make up the difference in the aggregate as you build around Devers.

If they fail to lock up Devers, they should just pack it up, and close up shop. Cash out, sell the team and move on.


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