It would be pretty tough to make the case that any Red Sox player over the past eight years has meant as much to the Red Sox as Dustin Pedroia. His bulldog tenacity, lunch pail work ethic, talent and will to win are the ingredients that have allowed him get the most out of his abilities and what continues to set him up as the centerpiece of the club. Rest easy Nation. It looks like a long-term deal is in the works.
Jul 16, 2013; Flushing, NY, USA; American League second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) of the Boston Red Sox throws to first base during the 2013 All Star Game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan recently reported that, while the deal isn’t imminent and is as much speculation as fact, the Sox and Pedroia’s agents are in negotiations that could keep Pedey in a Boston uniform until he’s at least 35-years old while pushing his salary to over $100 million.
The Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway reported that sources close to the negotiations told Passan that the two sides are working on a tentative framework of $20 million annually over five or six seasons. Yeah, dems a lot of beans. The intangibles mentioned above aside, when you examine Pedroia’s stats provided by Baseball Reference.com, he defines franchise player.
Career splits: .301 RHP, .310 LHP
2012-2013 K%: 10.3, Career K%: 8.8
It is interesting to note that during Pedroia’s first four seasons (2006-2009), his K% was among the game’s best at around 7%. After all of his early success that earned him a Rookie of the Year, an MVP award, a Silver Slugger, All-Star status and a World Series ring, Pedroia decided to become more aggressive at the plate and become one of the centerpieces of the Red Sox offense. Even with that, Pedroia has remained one of the toughest players to strike out, averaging barely 64 strikeouts per season.
Defensively, he has a lifetime .991 fielding percentage as opposed to the league fielding percentage at his position of .985. There’s no stat for spectacular plays. If there was one, he’d rank at the top of the second base crop.
When asked about the negotiations, Pedroia was just what you’d expect, a pro focused on baseball. “I just leave my agent and the Red Sox to deal with that,” Pedroia said after Friday night’s game against the Yankees. “My job is to come in here, play baseball and try to help the Red Sox win games. They’ll tell me when something (happens). I’m just focused on trying to help us win baseball games. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
I am a Mainer transplanted in Virginia but remain a hard-core Boston sports fan, particularly as concerns the Red Sox. I'm old enough to remember the 1967 Impossible Dream season, which cemented my love for the Sox for life. By profession I am an IT manager, which I love but at the end of the day I'm a bit of a writer and musician trapped in a technologist's body. As I have aged I can clearly see the nexus of music and sports. Great musicians have athletic stamina and incredible drive while top athletes can bring a crowd to both full throat and then sublime appreciation as if the crowd were listening to a moving musical piece. Athlete as rock star. Musician as a rigorously trained galvanizing force and cultural hero. Close your eyes and the two are nearly interchangeable. Sox on! Rock on! Twitter: @petersonstephen