Dustin Pedroia will become, at least temporarily, the highest-paid second baseman in the game when his seven-year, $100 million extension with the Red Sox becomes official.
A senior team executive said that the agreement is close to being completed. The deal would take Pedroia through the end of the 2021 season, at which point he would be 38.
“It’s not official or anything,” Pedroia said on Tuesday. “The club will announce that. But it’s not going to change who I am or my role with this team. My job is to go out there and try to help us win a game every day and try to do all I can to make that happen.”
Pedroia is signed through the 2014 season with the Sox holding an option worth $11 million for 2015. Under the terms of the new deal, the club would forfeit the option and Pedroia would receive an average of $14.28 million through the end of the contract.
Pedroia also would get full no-trade protection. It would be the first $100 million deal for a second baseman in baseball history.
“I have no idea if I’ll want to keep playing when I’m 38,” he said. “My kids will be older then. But this gives me a chance to stay here my whole career.”
Since spring training, when the sides first began talking, Pedroia told agents Seth and Sam Levinson that was his goal.
“It’s really important,” he said. “The Red Sox drafted me and a lot of teams passed on me because of my size and stuff like that. It’s pretty important. That’s why I want to work as hard as I can to make sure that they made the right choice in drafting me and me being here my whole career.”
The Red Sox had dual motivations to sign Pedroia now rather than waiting for his current deal to expire.
From owner John Henry down throughout the organization, Pedroia is regarded as a model player both for his performance and personality. He has become the de facto captain, and, along with designated hitter David Ortiz, the face of the franchise.
“He sets the tone for us. He embodies everything that we value as far as a player,” manager John Farrell said.
The Sox also should benefit financially by signing Pedroia before Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano becomes a free agent after the season.
Although Pedroia compares favorably to Cano statistically and is 10 months younger, Cano could realize an average annual value of close to $20 million. If Pedroia had waited for Cano to set the market, his extension could have been worth more.
“I don’t look at it like that,” he said. “I want to be in a place that’s special to me and this place has been that.”
A television reporter asked Pedroia if his teammates would look differently at him once he signs the lucrative new deal.
“Not really,” he cracked. “They still have to look down at me.”Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com.