The Red Sox announced today that the club had agreed to a one-year contract extension with outfielder Rob Refsnyder with a club option for the 2025 season. As noted by Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, Refsnyder’s deal will earn him $1.85MM in 2024, with the 2025 option being valued at $2MM. Speier adds that the deal includes performance-related bonuses and escalators.
A fifth-round pick in the 2005 draft, Refsnyder made his MLB debut as a member of the Yankees in 2005. While he impressed with a 16-game stint where he slashed .302/.348/.512 with a 130 wRC+ in 2015, subsequent cups of coffee in the big leagues didn’t yield nearly as promising results, leaving the Yankees to designate the then-26-year-old Refsnyder for assignment. He ended his Yankees career with a slash line of .241/.312/.332 in 92 games with the club. Refsnyder would spend the next several seasons making brief, unsuccessful appearances with the Blue Jays, Rays, Rangers and Twins despite consistently putting up consistent numbers at the Triple-A level, where he has a career slash line of .298/.379/.450 in 487 games.
Things began to turn around for Refsnyder when he arrived in Boston last season, however. In 90 games with the club since the start of the 2022 season, Refsnyder has posted a .299/.393/.457 slash line, good for a wRC+ of 139. While Refsnyder’s sky-high .387 BABIP during that time indicates success at this level is likely unsustainable, though his 10.9% walk rate, 24.4% strikeout rate, and .158 ISO all indicate that Refsnyder can at least be a solid fourth outfielder in the big leagues nonetheless. Currently, Refsnyder sits alongside Raimel Tapia on the Red Sox depth chart, coming off the bench to spell primary outfielders Alex Verdugo, Masataka Yoshida, and Jarren Duran.
That performance earned Refsnyder additional job security in the form of a contract extension that appears to be a win for all parties. Refsnyder, who landed a $1.2MM contract to avoid arbitration this past offseason, was set to be arbitration-eligible for the final time in 2024 but now has a guaranteed big league salary headed into next season. Meanwhile, with the 2025 club option the Red Sox secured themselves an additional year at what is sure to be a discounted price should Refsnyder see continued success over the next two seasons.