Dombrowski, Cora unsure on status of Dustin Pedroia

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 09: Dustin Pedroia
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 09: Dustin Pedroia /

Boston Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski and manager Alex Cora provide an update regarding second baseman Dustin Pedroia’s status for spring training next season.

After playing in just three games in 2018 due to knee injuries, the future is still very much unclear for Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

When asked about a potential need at second base this offseason, General Manager Dave Dombrowski was speculative in speaking about the 2008 American League MVP.

"“I can’t answer that until I find out really what Pedey’s situation is,” Dombrowski said. “It’ll be something we’ll have to focus in on over the next time period.”"

As first reported by Jason Mastrodonato of The Boston Herald, Dombrowski added the team is “hopeful” Pedroia is ready to go by Spring Training, but admittedly was uncertain about Pedroia’s future.

"“There will be timeframes,” said Dombrowksi. “I know he’s hopeful, we’re hopeful.”"

Mid-season acquisition Ian Kinsler is a free agent this offseason, leaving utility infielders Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez as the only options available on the current roster.

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If the Red Sox do look to the free agent market, there are a few names that stick out. Jed Lowrie, coming off perhaps his best season in 2018 (4.9 WAR, highest among 2B FA) could be an option to be reunited with the team that drafted him back in 2005. Another target could be Asdrubal Cabrera, who was rumored to be on Boston’s radar prior to this season’s trade deadline. Looking at cheaper alternatives, mid-season acquisitions Kinsler and Brandon Phillips could be brought back to fill a platoon role with Holt and Nunez.

Pedroia started the 2018 season on the disabled list following left knee surgery in the offseason, making his debut May 26 before again being placed on the DL May 29 with inflammation in the same knee.

Pedroia underwent another procedure in July, was transferred to the 60-Day Disabled List on August 7, and by September it was confirmed Pedroia would be out for the remainder of the season.

In the three games Pedroia played this season, he went 1-for-11 (.091) with two walks and a single strikeout. This came after Pedroia batted .293 along with a .760 OPS. to go with seven home runs, 62 RBI, 46 runs scored and a 48/49 K/BB rate while playing in 105 games in 2017.

Despite the limited playing time, Pedroia was often seen during games in the Red Sox dugout, offering support for his teammates as they won a club-record 108 games in the regular season en route to winning the 2018 World Series. The championship is Pedroia’s third with the club since winning his first as part of his 2007 Rookie of the Year award-winning campaign.

Many players have also credited Pedroia for maintaining his clubhouse leadership role from the sidelines, mentoring the team’s young stars throughout their historic season.

Alex Cora, teammate-turned-manager of Pedroia, has something special planned for Pedroia if he does make it back by Opening Day.

"“I still expect him to contribute,” said Cora. “Like I told him, you guys can go ahead and write it, if he’s ready to go, that’s the only game he’s going to lead off next year. He’ll lead off Opening Day in Seattle. I told him that a few months ago because he deserves it. Mookie won’t lead off one game next year. That’s the goal.”"

Pedroia spent the majority of his career as Boston’s leadoff hitter before he was moved down in the order due to emerging players such as Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi.

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Signed through 2021, Pedroia is still owed $40 million over the next three seasons.