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Passan: Red Sox' Negotiations With Rafael Devers Mirroring Mookie Betts Talks

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Red Sox traded Mookie Betts in 2020, sending away a generational talent after failed contract negotiations spelled the end of his tenure in Boston.

Now two years later, the Red Sox are staring down the possibility of saying farewell to two more star players in Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers.

With Bogaerts, the shortstop can opt out of his deal at the end of the 2022 season, and it appears as though he will be hitting free agency.

With Devers, the team still has the third baseman under control through 2023. Beyond that, he's set to hit free agency, and contract extension discussions have yet to yield a result.

That may remain the case, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Passan was a guest on WEEI on Wednesday and likened the Devers discussions to the Betts negotiations from years ago.

"I think the best way to characterize it is like this: the Red Sox are [offering] over $200 million, and Rafael Devers wants more than $300 million," Passan said on The Greg Hill Show. "This thing is playing out in a very, very similar fashion to Mookie Betts."

Passan indicated that the Red Sox likely have some concerns about Devers' defense, suggesting that the Red Sox wouldn't be inclined to give $300 million to Devers if he projects to be a future first baseman.

"The question the Red Sox have to ask themselves, and the question that will determine whether he signs up long-term to be a Boston Red Sox forever potentially, is if they believe his glove and a potential position change down the road changes their calculus of what they feel like he's worth," Passan said.

Passan also stated that the Red Sox certainly have room on their payroll to sign both Bogaerts and Devers, if they are committed to doing so.

"You look at the Red Sox' payroll for next year, their commitments for next year I believe are around $60 million — not even," Passan said. "This is a team that can spend $230 million before going into the luxury tax. So yes, there's room for a $300 million player on the Boston Red Sox payroll. There's room, frankly, for Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts to be signed long-term. I just don't think after Trevor Story especially that that's something that's in the cards."

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