Pedroia/Cano: Is Dustin over-paid?

Dustin Pedroia, the “guts”  of the team, recently signed a 7-year contract with the Sox; he will be 37 in 2021, the last year of the contract.  How does his salary compare to Robinson Cano and other star players in MLB?  Is he over-paid or under-paid?

2014 30 Boston Red Sox $12,500,000
2015 31 Boston Red Sox $12,500,000
2016 32 Boston Red Sox $13,000,000
2017 33 Boston Red Sox $15,000,000
2018 34 Boston Red Sox $16,000,000
2019 35 Boston Red Sox $15,000,000
2020 36 Boston Red Sox $13,000,000
2021 37 Boston Red Sox $12,000,000
Earliest Free Agent: 2022

Oct 30, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia after game six of the MLB baseball World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park. The Red Sox won 6-1 to win the series four games to two. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports


Five Red Sox players received votes for the American League MVP Award, Dustin Pedroia led the Red Sox with 99 points and a 7th-place finish

[David Ortiz had 47 points and finished 10th. Jacoby Ellsbury (three points, 18th place), Koji Uehara (two points, T-19th) and Shane Victorino (one point, T-22nd) also received votes.]

Here are 2013 WAR ratings:

Ellsbury   5.8

Victorino 5.6

Pedroia 5.4

Ortiz had 3.8

Pedroia won MVP in 2008 and  has made the top 10 of MVP voting  for 7 years in a row. He played the entire season with a torn ligament in his left thumb;  his home run total fell from 15 to 9; hit did hit for average: .301.

Pedroia toughed out the entire season with a torn ligament in his left thumb, caused when he slid headfirst into first base on Opening Day; he underwent successful surgery this past week.

Fortunately, Pedroia did not require a more extensive surgery that would have included grafting a ligament from a different part of his body into his thumb.

“Sounds like the prognosis is good,” general manager Ben Cherington told reporters in Orlando.  Cherington is optimistic that Pedroia will be ready for Spring Training.

This season he also won his third Gold Glove Award at second base and was named the American League defensive player of the year by Wilson Sporting Goods on Thursday.

Hall of Fame?

Baseball Reference likes his chances:

Hall Of Fame Statistics

Player rank in (·)
Black Ink Batting – 11 (218), Average HOFer ≈ 27
Gray Ink Batting – 57 (443), Average HOFer ≈ 144
Hall of Fame Monitor Batting – 86 (215), Likely HOFer ≈ 100
Hall of Fame Standards Batting – 31 (293), Average HOFer ≈ 50
JAWS Second Base (29th), 38.1 career WAR/38.9 7yr-peak WAR/38.5 JAWS
Average HOF 2B (out of 19) = 69.5 career WAR/44.5 7yr-peak WAR/57.0 JAWS

To decide whether he is being over or under paid, compare him to other MVPs.

AL and NL MVP’s since 2008 and what they are expected to make over the next 5 years.

 MVP 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 5 Year Total
 Justin Verlander (2011)  $20,000,000  $28,000,000  $28,000,000  $28,000,000  $28,000,000  $132,000,000
 Albert Pujols (2008, 2009)  $23,000,000  $24,000,000  $25,000,000  $26,000,000  $27,000,000  $125,000,000
 Miguel Cabrera (2012, 2013)  $22,000,000  $22,000,000  TBD  TBD  TBD  $119,000,000*
 Josh Hamilton (2010)  $17,000,000  $25,000,000  $25,000,000  $25,000,000  TBD  $117,000,000*
 Joe Mauer (2009)  $23,000,000  $23,000,000  $23,000,000  $23,000,000  $23,000,000  $115,000,000
 Joey Votto (2010)  $12,000,000  $14,000,000  $20,000,000  $22,000,000  $25,000,000    $93,000,000
 Buster Posey (2012)  $10,500,000  $16,500,000  $20,000,000  $21,400,000  $21,400,000    $89,800,000
 Ryan Braun (2009)  $10,000,000  $12,000,000  $19,000,000  $19,000,000  $19,000,000    $79,000,000
 Dustin Pedroia (2008)  $12,500,000  $12,500,000  $13,000,000  $15,000,000  $16,000,000    $69,000,000
 Andrew McCutchen (2013)    $7,250,000  $10,000,000  $13,000,000  $14,000,000  $14,750,000    $59,000,000

*TBD is estimated at $25,000,000 toward the 5 Year Total,SOURCE: November 15, 2013 by

Baseball Reference ranks Pedroia #244 on their All-Time Hitters list:

#243. Joey Votto… #244. DUSTIN PEDROIA… #245. Orlando Cepeda

Robinson Cano is rated higher:

#205. Robin Ventura… #206. ROBINSON CANO… #207. Ron Cey

Cano and Pedroia are frequently compared to each other.  Here is Cano’s dough:

Year Age Team Salary Sources Notes/Other Sources
2006 23 New York Yankees $381,000
2007 24 New York Yankees $490,800
2008 25 New York Yankees $3,000,000
2009 26 New York Yankees $6,000,000
2010 27 New York Yankees $9,000,000
2011 28 New York Yankees $10,000,000
2012 29 New York Yankees $14,000,000 contracts
2013 30 New York Yankees $15,000,000 contracts
2014 Status Signed thru 2013, Earliest Free Agent: 2014
Career to date (may be incomplete) $57,871,800
2014 30 Boston Red Sox $12,500,000
2015 31 Boston Red Sox $12,500,000
2016 32 Boston Red Sox $13,000,000
2017 33 Boston Red Sox $15,000,000
2018 34 Boston Red Sox $16,000,000
2019 35 Boston Red Sox $15,000,000
2020 36 Boston Red Sox $13,000,000
2021 37 Boston Red Sox $12,000,000
Earliest Free Agent: 2022

Q:  Compared to Cano and other star players in his cohort, do you think Pedroia is properly compensated for his talents?

Comparing Pedroia's compensation to Cano and other stars in MLB is he:

View Results

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Tags: Dustin Pedroia Robinson Cano Salary

  • Rick M

    Stats mean nothing discussing Pedroia, especially the convoluted WAR. There is no metric devised for what he brings to a team. Same with a Gomes. Same with Napoli. Was Benny onto something? These are the type of folks that help create a positive work place environment and contribute in ways that cannot be defined with metrics or money. Think of all those great “numbers” that were shipped to LA.

    In today’s market he is clearly underpaid for both intangibles and tangibles. Playing the whole season with a screwed up thumb and sacrificing all those “numbers” that send the stats geeks into an orgasmic numbers frenzy. He could easily have packed it in for 2/3 months.

    This is the best all around player I have ever seen in a Sox uniform and that includes TSW.

  • Tom Buckley

    The whole team feeds off Pedroia’s energy and dedication — he sets the tone. That’s something a Cano doesn’t offer — which isn’t to say that Cano isn’t a terrific talent, because he certainly is. But Pedroia brings an intangible quality that can’t necessarily be measured by the stats.

  • John Fahrer

    Wish there was a choice D: All of the above. Since it’s (currently) the largest contract at a position that traditionally isn’t the most star-studded, it’s fair to say it’s about right based on what he brings to the table. After Cano gets paid, it’ll probably be fair to say he’s underpaid considering Pedroia has more rings, an MVP, more gold gloves, and just as many All Star appearances in the years both guys have been in the league (Cano has one more ASG appearance but that was in 06 when Pedroia didn’t debut until late that season). But by the end of that contract, Pedroia could be spending more time as a DH/utility player and the salary could be viewed as a tad too much.

  • John Cate

    I have no idea. How much are the 2007 and 2013 World Championships that he played a huge role in bringing to Boston worth?

    Based on what I see out of him day after day, the Red Sox are getting a bargain.

    • John Fahrer

      Speaking of that 2007 World Championship, I think it’s time for a significant populous of RSN to stop thinking we lost on the Beckett and Lowell for Hanley and Anibal deal. Without Beckett and Lowell there is no title in 07 and the Marlins never even had a winning season with Ramirez and Sanchez, much less even made the playoffs. Plus Ramirez is regarded as a troublemaker and a sub-par defensive SS.

      Kind of irrelevant based on the topic I know. But when citing the 07 WS…

      • John Cate

        I’ve never thought the Red Sox lost on that deal. Hanley was more trouble than he was worth. Anibal Sanchez is just a good pitcher who had a great year in 2013, and he wasn’t anywhere near ready to step in and do what Beckett did in 2007.

        That 2007 championship banner is going to fly in Fenway forever. If I was running the Red Sox, I would make that trade again in a heartbeat. You can justify a deal like that if it means a World Championship. That one paid off handsomely.