Report: Rafael Devers avoids arbitration via 1-year, $17.5M deal

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
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BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox have agreed to a one-year contract with two-time All-Star Rafael Devers, avoiding salary arbitration.

The deal is for $17.5 million, according to a person with knowledge of the agreement who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not disclose the terms of the contract.

The 26-year-old third baseman, who made $11.2 million last season, will be on Boston’s roster for at least one season in his final year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the open free-agent market.

Boston will keep one of its key contributors from last season in house after All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts, slugger J.D. Martinez and pitcher Nathan Eovaldi all departed in free agency.

The Red Sox’s biggest splash this offseason has been signing Japanese star Masataka Yoshida to a five-year, $90 million deal.

There are six remaining unsigned Red Sox players eligible for arbitration: Christian Arroyo, Ryan Brasier, Reese McGuire, Nick Pivetta, Josh Taylor, and Alex Verdugo.

Devers was the American League’s starting third baseman in the 2021 and 2022 All-Star games. In 141 games last season, he batted .295 with 42 doubles, 27 home runs, and 88 RBI.

The Red Sox are trying to bounce back from a difficult 2022 season in which they plummeted to a 78-84 and last-place finish in the AL East a year after winning 92 games, earning a wild-card postseason berth and making it to the ALCS.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.