Less than two weeks after the Red Sox lost Xander Bogaerts as a result of self-inflicted wounds (and strengthened the Dodgers' rival San Diego Padres in the process), focus is already turning to Boston's next homegrown challenge: retaining Rafael Devers.
Conventional wisdom suggests the Red Sox, a revenue monster situated in one of the most ravenous baseball markets in the country, can't possibly lose their third consecutive star (following Bogaerts and Mookie Betts) based on money alone. On the contrary, though, ESPN's Joon Lee indicated in a piece published Monday that Bogaerts leaving might not have shocked the franchise's system enough to change their future with Devers.
Filled with nuggets undermining Sox leader Chaim Bloom's killer instinct, claiming he spends too much time processing variables to be proactive enough in free agency or the trade market, Lee's piece feels devastating for Devers' long-term chances of staying in Boston.
According to the text, Devers' representatives are planning for the player to reach free agency, based on the current state of his contract talks with Boston. Sources claim the two parties are “galaxies apart” in their recent negotiations.
Could the Dodgers step in as the white knight yet again, nearly three years after taking on David Price's salary to acquire Mookie Betts? Or can they add a 26-year-old superstar in Devers when he reaches free agency, as he's currently promising?
Can Los Angeles Dodgers trade for Rafael Devers -- or sign him outright next offseason?
It feels safe to say the forthcoming musical chairs/free agency stare down between the Mets and Dodgers will end with Devers landing with one club and Shohei Ohtani joining the other. Even with Carlos Correa at third base in New York, there's no telling when Steve Cohen will stop.
Boston already facilitated the process in more ways than one, by both frustrating Devers with offers stuck in a different galaxy/letting his mentor in Bogaerts walk, but also signing Dodgers incumbent Justin Turner to a two-year deal. The 38-year-old Turner will be Boston's primary DH this season ... but that's what they all say, and he could easily fill third in case a trade is consummated.
The Dodgers? They're likely to hand the keys over to top prospect Miguel Vargas in 2023, and if he takes off and everything *works*, then fantastic. We'll stop stumping for the pursuit of Devers.
But every team will find use for as many elite bats as they can get their hands on. Vargas can play left if the Dodgers acquire Devers. Devers can transition into a DH role as he ages out of the hot corner. Superstars can split reps in different places. The Dodgers are known for creating harmony; Boston is famous for creafting discord out of nothing.
Perhaps the Dodgers' galaxy is preferable to Devers, who seems poised to be third in line to receive coal from the indecisive and cash-strapped Bloom.