By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
On Tuesday the Boston Red Sox and second baseman Dustin Pedroia agreed to a seven-year contract extension that is worth $100 million. The deal will start in 2015 and run through the 2021 season, paying Pedroia approximately $14 million per season for the length of the contract. Pedroia is currently playing out a six-year $40.5 million contract he signed in 2005.
This will be the fourth time the Red Sox gave a $100+ million contract to a player; the other three all eventuallyended up with the Los Angeles Dodgers via trades in Manny Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford.
The four time all-star also has the 2007 Rookie of the Year award and 2008 AL MVP Awards sitting on his mantle and is deserving of the raise he is receiving. When the contract ends, Pedroia will be 38 years old but for now the 30 year old is still producing with a .308/.385/.422 slash line to go along with 57 RBI. This is all being done even though he suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb opening day against the New York Yankees after a slide into first. He has toughed it out, missing only one game all season as he really represents what the Red Sox are all about.
“Speaking generally about Dustin, he’s certainly a guy we think very highly of, and he’s a huge part of the organization, not just this team. He represents a lot of what we’re all about,” said Red Sox GM Ben Cherington. “It’s our sincere hope he’s here for a long time; that’s all I can say. We’ve got a good enough relationship with Dustin and his representatives that those conversations will happen over time. At the right time, we’ll just have to see down the road what comes of it.”
Pedroia has been one of the best second baseman in baseball throughout the last half decade and this contract will have a big impact on the free agent market. In addition to Pedroia signing, there was news Tuesday that Cuban shortstop Alexander Guerrero, who defected back in January, had agreed to a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers worth $32 million over seven years. Guerrero will play second base with the Dodgers and will be moved up through the Dodgers minor league system quickly to get him to the big leagues in a few weeks. The news might be a little premature though as Guerrero’s agent is denying a deal being done with the Dodgers.
This will also have a big impact on the free agent market this offseason, namely New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano. Cano will be one of, if not the biggest free agent on the market come this winter. He is arguably the best second baseman in baseball right now and will surely demand a contract equal to but probably greater than Pedroia’s. The new contract Pedroia received and the Dodgers seeming close to bringing in a new player are setting the market much sooner for Cano than people would have expected; his options would seem to be dwindling as the Yankees will then be put on the hot seat to make a decision with their superstar second baseman.