According to several league sources, the Red Sox have already decided it would be in their best interest to begin discussions this winter about a possible long-term contract extension with veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
Pedroia, 29, still has two years remaining on his current six-year, $40.5 million deal. He's due $10 million in both 2013 and 2014, and the Red Sox have a club option for $11 million (with a $500,000 buyout) for 2015.
A league source indicated a potential extension for Pedroia isn't something the Red Sox are focused on right now because of all the other aspects they must address first. But talks with Pedroia are on the horizon, as the sides will make time for discussion at some point this offseason, sources said.
The Red Sox see Pedroia -- as they do with Ortiz -- as a cornerstone to the team and would like him to continue as a face of the franchise and lead it into the future.
You'll be hard-pressed to find a Red Sox fan who's not 100% on board with this.
While we're starting to get the sense that Pedroia may start to break down at some point and be
repeatedly sidelined by nagging injuries, you can't use that as a reason to not lock him up. We all know about all the things Pedroia brings to the club, both on and off the field, and how valuable he is to this franchise. Keeping him around for as long as possible is simply a wise decision.
But, like everything else, it all comes down to dollars. The Sox owe Pedroia $10 million this year and next, plus a club option for 2015. While I applaud the pre-emptive signing, Pedroia's value could wildly swing in either direction by the time 2016 rolls around. That's three more years of Pedroia, at a relatively decent price tag, to see if he can remain healthy and whether or not he can keep his production up.
You have to assume that Pedroia isn't going to sign any long-term deal, this early, unless he's getting a sizeable pay raise. Otherwise, what's his incentive? He already has two, most likely three years of security.
As I stated above, I'm on board with this and I think locking Pedroia up early before he gets visions of free agency dancing in his head is a smart move. It's a nice gesture to make to your clubhouse leader, and gives the fans some much needed stability. But I'm very curious to see what type of offer Cherington has in mind.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Ben Cherington, knock them over | Scott Fletcher up for Sox hit coach | Globe - Red Sox interviewing Fletcher for hitting coach | Miguel Cabrera, Buster Posey win MVP awards | WEEI - David Ross: 'There was a lot of interest' | An X-factor on the corners? | Source: Red Sox not prioritizing Hamilton | CSNNE - Wakeup Call: What's the rush? Take a couple of weeks off! | MVP Award has evolved since Fred Lynn won it