MLB Insider: Ceddanne Rafaela official contract details and what it means for Red Sox

The Red Sox signed prospect Ceddanne Rafaela to a contract extension. Here's what that means for Boston.
Boston Red Sox Spring Training
Boston Red Sox Spring Training / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

On April 8, the Boston Red Sox signed second baseman/outfielder Ceddanne Rafaela to an eight-year, $50 million contract extension that included a club option for the 2032 season. Here’s a breakdown of the deal, according to a major-league source:

2024: $1 million.

2025: $1 million.

2026: $2 million.

2027: $3.5 million.

2028: $5.5 million.

2029: $7.5 million.

2030: $10.5 million.

2031: $13 million.

2032: $16 million club option ($4 million buyout).

The base salaries in 2030-2032 would increase by each in the immediately preceding season, the source said: $2 million for MVP ($1 million for second or third); $500,000 for fourth or fifth; $250,000 for sixth through tenth); $200,000 for All-Star team.

Why the Red Sox extending Ceddanne Rafaela is a big deal

Rafaela, 23, has been a top-100 prospect in each of the past two seasons. He made his major-league debut with the Red Sox last season and entered the 2024 season as the starting center fielder. And in 40 career major-league appearances, he’s hitting .227/.269/.370 with two home runs and 10 RBI. In 12 games this season, in which he has played both center field and second base, he’s hitting .194/.244/.333 with a .577 OPS.

In signing Brayan Bello and Rafaela to long-term extensions, it indicates that Red Sox management is becoming more proactive in doing such deals rather than waiting – and risking losing the player – similar to what happened with Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Jon Lester, as MLB Trade Rumors suggested.

The Red Sox have other extension candidates on the roster, with first baseman Triston Casas being the most obvious candidate. But the team is not close to any other long-term pacts at this time, general manager Craig Breslow told reporters. Casas has echoed that statement in his own right as well.

Following back-to-back last place AL East finishes, it appears as though the Red Sox are preparing for the future, all the while hoping to make some noise in the present.