SAN DIEGO - There is the Xander Bogaerts drama. The wait-and-wait-wait-and-wait-and-see free agent pursuits. And then there is Rafael Devers.
While Chaim Bloom has spent the MLB Winter Meetings trying to maneuver both the free agent and trade markets to bring the Red Sox back to contention, one item remains top-of-mind.
"It’s definitely not a back-burner topic for us," Bloom said during his Tuesday media session at the Grand Hyatt. "Until there’s something with him, nothing I say really matters, but it’s definitely not a back-burner topic. Needless to say, I think when there are other things happening in the business – really on both sides – but for clubs, for agents, sometimes it’s hard to buckle down on things that don’t have the same deadline, but we view this as a top-line, urgent item for us, even though it is not an open market, it’s not tied to any offseason deadline."
While Devers is heading into the final year of contract control by the Red Sox, Bloom has made it clear that this scenario does not line up with that of Mookie Betts three years.
"We are in a different situation," Bloom said on the Bradfo Sho podcast. "For me the Mookie thing... what I will say about it is the organization at that point was in a really tough position."
He added, "The organization at that point (heading into 2020) was in a position where clearly, just in terms of present outlook, just in terms of how good the Red Sox could expect to be in 2020 as they were constituted was clearly not the class of the division and were at the bottom of the heap in terms of the farm system. And there were a ton of commitments on the books. We're fortunate, we're blessed with great resources here but obviously, you still need to have freedom with those resources and a lot of those resources were tied up."
Devers is believed to be seeking a contract extension in the vicinity of 10 years and $300 million, with the Red Sox reportedly $50-$80 million shy.