When the Boston Red Sox extended Rafael Devers this past off-season, the team believed they had found their long-term star. The Rafael Devers grand slam showed the team just how right they might have been.
The 2023 Red Sox
The 2023 Red Sox are perhaps one of the more interesting teams in baseball. A long term powerhouse, the team found themselves out bid by the San Diego Padres for star shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Not long ago, Boston was known as a heavy spender but it feels they might have been knocked down a tier or two as other teams seem more likely to spend.
While the team’s payroll position has decreased in recent years, they did sign Devers to a 10 year/$313.5 million contract this past off-season. While the Rafael Devers grand slam shows how dangerous he can be at the plate, the young third baseman has truly blossomed into an MLB superstar.
With a few question marks around the team, Devers will likely serve as the key piece for the Red Sox as they work to figure out a way to return to their winning ways. While the team found themselves dominating the lowly Detroit Tigers, winning the game by a final score of 14-5, the team finds themselves looking up at the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees in the American League East.
With a Toronto Blue Jays team picked as one of the favorites to win the American League pennant and a really good and young Baltimore Orioles team, the Red Sox have some work to do to not only make the playoffs but to avoid the basement of perhaps the most competitive division in baseball.
Why Extend Devers
The decision to extend Devers was hopefully an easy on for the Red Sox. While the Devers grand slam shows how great of a batter he is, he has emerged as a fan favorite and team leader over the course of his MLB career. Having a player like Devers will help the team attract other MLB talent as well as keep fans interested in the team.
Historically, the Red Sox have always had a plethora of great hitters. From Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams to the more recent David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Mookie Betts, the Red Sox have always rostered some of the best hitters in baseball. The recent decisions to move on from Betts and Xander left a lot of fans questioning the future of the franchise.
By extending Devers, the team put some of those questions to rest, but now it is up to manager Alex Cora, general manager Chaim Bloom and the rest of the roster to show that they can still compete despite the lack of star power beyond Devers.
Not the Only Grand Slam
Yesterday, MLB had two grand slam with Yordan Alvarez homering for the Houston Astros. As a result, it’s hard not to compare the two blasts by the two MLB superstars. For Boston, Devers grand slam came in a winning effort while Alvarez had the harder hit ball.
For the Astros and the Red Sox, it seems that the two teams might be moving in opposite directions. While the Astros are struggling to start the season, they are the defending World Series champion while the Red Sox missed the playoffs. With both divisions looking to send multiple teams to the playoffs, both teams will rely on their sluggers to help make up ground early in the season.
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