The Boston Red Sox flexed their wallets and retained homegrown star Rafael Devers on Wednesday.
Shortly after, one former pitcher heavily expressed his approval of the move.
Devers reportedly was extended through an 11-year contract worth $331 million, according to multiple reports. The deal marked the largest in franchise history and the biggest since former pitcher David Price (seven years, $217 million) in 2015.
Jake Peavy, a member of Boston’s 2013 World Series-winning team, is all in on Devers. The retired pitcher emphasized the importance of keeping Devers in a Red Sox uniform. In fact, Peavy went as far as to imply that Devers could follow in the footsteps of a franchise icon and Baseball Hall of Famer.
“This is saving Chaim Bloom’s offseason,” Peavy said Wednesday on MLB Network. “… Now we’ve had a good offseason and you have a figure to build around for 11 years. Your David Ortiz for the next 11 years. As good as a left-handed bat as in the league for the next 11 years. Hats off, Boston.”
Since Devers made his debut with the Red Sox in 2017, he’s reached impressive heights, certainly when considering his age. With a World Series title and postseason experience under Devers’ belt, perhaps Peavy’s assessment isn’t far-fetched. Devers is already established at 26 years old while Ortiz first arrived in Boston at age 27. And at the time, Ortiz wasn’t at all what he’d become down the line.
Prior to the Devers agreement, uncertainty hovered over the Red Sox. After Xander Bogaerts took his talents to the San Diego Padres, Devers’ future became both questionable and uncertain. Some clarity came Tuesday when both sides agreed on a one-year, $17.5 million deal to avoid arbitration.
Peavy, who spent two seasons in Boston, wasn’t done after the Ortiz comparison. He labeled the Devers extension “the best deal of the winter.” Peavy also made a good point and noted that Devers will only be 37 years old when the extension reaches its end in 2033.
“This is the best deal of the winter,” Peavy said. “This guy’s 26 years old. He’s a stud in the prime of his career. You’re talking about he’s only to year 37 if we’re looking at it. He’s gonna grow and now you have a cornerstone that’s healthy, that you build around and you add pieces. … I can’t express how big this is.”
With the total dollar amount serving as the sixth-largest deal in Major League Baseball history, Peavy assured one thing: That it’s worth it. In fact, he referenced a few household names across the league who he believes Devers is tiered among.
“You got (Yordan) Álvarez, (Shohei) Ohtani, you got (Juan) Soto, (Bryce) Harper, this kid is in that discussion, every bit as good,” Peavy said. “… Seventy extra-base hits last year.”