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Red Sox and 23-year-old Ceddanne Rafaela finalize 8-year contract

 The Associated Press  |    Apr 10th, 2024 12:53pm EDT

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox finalized an eight-year contract Wednesday with 23-year-old Ceddanne Rafaela, the youngest player on their roster.

The deal includes a team option for 2032.

Rafaela has played 39 major league games, batting .233 average with two homers while playing center field, shortstop and second base. He was twice recognized by the organization as the minor league defensive player of the year, and he was also the club’s baserunner of the year last season.

He began this season with 35 days of major league service and likely would have been eligible for salary arbitration after the 2026 season and for free agency after the 2029 season.

The long-term agreement supersedes a one-year contract agreed to last month that called for a $743,500 salary while in the major leagues and $120,600 while in the minors.

Boston has finished last in the AL East in three of the last four seasons and have been unable to hold onto its stars. Mookie Betts was traded in a salary dump a year after he won the 2018 AL MVP award and shortstop Xander Bogaerts left as a free agent.

In an attempt to reverse the trend, the Red Sox have since given big contracts to third baseman Rafael Devers ($331 million for 11 years) and top young pitcher Brayan Bello ($55 million for six years).

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb