Just when Boston Red Sox fans didn’t have enough reasons to like Dustin Pedroia, he went and showed us all why he is such a special player this week.
Just a couple of days ago rumors were flying that Pedroia would be the next $20 million player. It seemed fair in my opinion. After all, Shane Victorino is making $13 million this year, and John Lackey made $17 million last year without having to play at all. Surely Pedey is worth more than those guys.
So it came as somewhat of a shock to me when I heard that the Red Sox had inked Pedroia to an eight-year, $110 million contract, or an average of $13.75 million per year. Surely Pedroia could have gotten more money than this on the open market, but that’s not the type of person Pedey is.
Boston is a blue-collar town. We have no use for overpaid superstars that don’t earn their money. That’s why it’s so hard to like players like Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford. Take that crap to California! We like scrappy, talented players who want to win as much as we want them to win. Luckily, that’s exactly what Pedey is.
Pedroia is now going to be the face of the franchise for years to come. He has a no trade clause which guarantees that he can remain in a Boston uniform until he is 37. The Red Sox get a player who is one of the best defensive second basemen in the game, has better baseball instincts than anyone, can hit the ball as well as anyone, gets his uniform dirty, and is a clubhouse leader for years to come.
And they got him well below market value. Although Pedroia lacks the raw power that most $20 million players have, he could easily command at least $18 million per year in the free market. After all, the Los Angeles Dodgers are still a MLB team! Considering that Robinson Cano is likely to sign a $200 million deal, Pedroia comes out of this as a steal.
Pedroia’s annual salary doesn’t push the Red Sox towards the luxury tax which makes it possible to keep other star players around him. He’s not an injury risk as some have said either. He hardly ever misses time for ailments that keep other players like Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz out. He’s been playing through a thumb injury all season.
Yes, by the time he is 36 they might not be getting as much value as they are now with Pedroia. But by that time, if he is leading a young team with Xander Boegarts, Trey Ball, Jackie Bradley Jr., Ruby De La Rosa, and Allen Webster to the playoffs every year, it won’t really matter.