Seven years, $100 million. An average of $14.3 million per year. That's not a bad rate for an All-Star second baseman that wins Gold Gloves and is a team leader. The deal is somewhat long. And it doesn't start until the 2015 season. Pedroia will make $10 million next year. So he'll be under contract until 2021. He turns 30 this August, so he'll turn 38 in the last year of this contract.
I'm happy Pedroia will remain with the Red Sox. He's a likable player. He has a career OBP of .371. He plays his position well. He has some power. He's a good example to younger players. He's a smart baserunner.
I've heard some compare Pedroia to Patrice Bergeron, and I don't disagree with the comparison. However, defensive play is much more important in hockey than it is in baseball.
I don't mind the salary. It's not ridiculous. The years kind of bug me. If he starts to deteriorate around 36-years old, he could be a defensive AND offensive liability, accounting for $14 million in salary. Perhaps risking this was necessary in order to sign him before he becomes a free agent. Although, what was the rush?
Pedroia was signed for 2014, and had an $11 million team option for 2015. Why the urgency to get this deal done now?
I can't help but suspect the PR aspects of locking down Pedroia played a part in this. I know we all have lovey-dovey feelings about the Red Sox right now, but it's still the same Front Office that gave us Carl Crawford and sold us bricks. I'm still suspicious. This preemptive strike signing might be a means to soften the blow when Ellsbury sets off for greener pastures. "Ellsbury's gone, but Pedoria's here 'til 2021," Red Sox fans will repeat to comfort themselves.
And with the end of David Ortiz's career on the horizon, Pedroia will assume the role of Face of the Franchise. Maybe the Sox will also sew a "C" on Pedroia's jersey, then sell another set of Pedroia t-shirts at the Souvenir Store.
There are so many non-baseball reasons to sign this baseball player.
Perhaps I'm allowing my cynical imagination to run wild. But those diabolical bastards on Yawkey Way spent years trying to win the hearts and minds of fans by making moves like this. From now on, whatever they do, I'll be wary of them. ESPECIALLY if they do something we all like. And we all like the idea of Dustin Pedroia at second base for the remainder of his career.
So because I generally like the move, that's why I'm suspicious of it.
This is the madness that can develop when living under the regime of Il Lucchino.