Somehow, some way, the New York Yankees and Aaron Judge remain monstrously far apart in contract negotiations despite a reasonable offer from the Yankees’ brass. Should a 31-year-old Judge be paid record-setting money through age 40? No, and the Yanks will not be goaded into doing so, leaving the two sides at an impasse.
Still, Yankee fans have received plenty of scorn through the season’s first week, with rivals operating under the assumption things have been bungled again from the top down. Damn you, Hal Steinbrenner, for not doling out a contract that we would also laugh at!
Perhaps some of this Judge-related giggling is coming after Boston fans tried to throw some stones from within their glass houses, though?
Xander Bogaerts, unable to come to an extension with the Sox before his Opening Day deadline and post-2022 opt-out discussion, responded, “Nah” to a question regarding whether or not something was going to get done.
And now, all of a sudden, Rafael Devers seems to be following the Mookie Betts trajectory, two years out from a potential free agent decision of his own.
According to MLB insider Jeff Passan on WEEI on Wednesday, the parallels are obvious, and Devers and the Sox are still $100 million apart in extension conversations. If the Yankees are being “cheap” with Judge, then what are the Sox being with Devers, who’s 25 (!!!) and should be shooting for the moon?
Yankees fans will love Rafael Devers’ contract situation with Red Sox
It’s all “copium” to Red Sox fans, the most embarrassing non-violent collective on the internet, but the Yankees properly assessing Judge’s value and the Sox trying to earn the “we tried” award with their second generational talent in two years are not the same.
Since 2019 (at the age of 22), Devers has been one of the game’s most elite hitters while working to get his third base defense to a consistently acceptable level. Sporting a league-leading 54 doubles in ’19, paired with two top-15 MVP finishes in his last two full seasons and OPS+ marks of 131 and 137, Devers might be the most fearsome hitter in baseball that some still have outside of the upper echelon.
Add in his unique connection with mentor Alex Cora, and this is an asset you simply cannot lose. Forcing yourselves into an unnecessary pretzel where trading Devers becomes an option by mid-2023 is the best-case scenario for a Bombers team that’s currently at risk of falling behind Boston unless the Sox self-fumble the bag.
But, smash cut to Devers hitting the trade block, and 10/10 Red Sox fans will defend the maneuver, saying you simply have to get assets in exchange for a player they’d previously claimed was without equal. Weeks later, they’ll be telling you how whatever Alex Verdugo-esque piece they received is actually outperforming Devers and you should open your eyes.
Nope, no, and, in Bogaerts’ terminology, nah. Yankee fans should hope this $100 million gulf only further expands as Chaim Bloom proves his regime is no grand departure after all. Rays With Money? Yeah, money they’d rather keep.