Dylan Pedroia, like most 4-year-olds, couldn’t sit still.
A few feet away, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington announced a new contract Wednesday for Dylan’s father.
The eight-year deal is worth $110 million, according to a source, making Dustin Pedroia baseball’s highest-paid second baseman.
The sun beamed on Fenway Park. About 200 fans sat in the stands. Camera crews broadcast the news conference live.
But there was Dylan, waving to his dad, rolling around in the dirt near the first base line.
Soon enough, Dylan’s white shorts were dirty — like his father’s uniform usually is.
“By the time this contract is over, [Dylan] will be old enough to be scouted,” Cherington said. “So that’s another negotiation to look forward to.”
Not quite — Dylan will be just 12 — but he can call Fenway his backyard for many years to come.
“This contract gives Dustin a very good chance to finish his career in Boston,” Cherington said.
The deal runs through 2021, at which time Pedroia, already a four-time All-Star, will be 38.
“Always in my heart, I always thought I’d play every game for the Red Sox,” said Pedroia, who was drafted by Boston in the second round in 2004. “So just being here right now, and this happening, it’s a great feeling.”
Said Cherington: “If we’re going to bet on someone at 37 or 38 years old, we’re not sure there’s a better guy to bet on.”
According to a source, the new deal is worth an average annual value of $13.75 million, a manageable figure as the Red Sox try to stay under MLB’s luxury tax threshold.
The contract includes some trade protection, but not a full no-trade clause, according to a source.
Pedroia joins Manny Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, and Carl Crawford as Sox players to receive contracts in excess of $100 million.
“This contract does represent an exception for us,” Cherington said. “As we told Dustin in spring training, he’s absolutely the right person to make an exception for.”
Pedroia, who will receive a $1 million signing bonus, will make $12.5 million next year and in 2015, $13 million in 2016, $15 million in 2017, $16 million in 2018, $15 million in 2019, $13 million in 2020, and $12 million in 2021.
The drop in salary on the back end makes it manageable for a player who will be older and theoretically less productive.
Playing well into his 30s? Not a problem, according to Pedroia.
“I’m 160 pounds,” Pedroia said. “That’s not a lot of pounding.”
“He’s like me. We’re not physical specimens,” teammate Shane Victorino said. “We’re not guys that are 6-foot-5 and intimidate people with presence when we walk on the field. But the way he plays the game, he plays like a giant. His intensity makes him a giant.”
Many Sox players sat in the dugout and watched the news conference.
Toward the end, designated hitter David Ortiz walked to the infield and picked up second base. He brought it over to Pedroia, interrupting him in mid-sentence.
Ortiz then took the microphone and glanced at Cherington.
“By the way, you got the time wrong, buddy,” Ortiz said. “When we play a night game, this [guy] is here by noon.”
On game days, Pedroia is often the first player in the clubhouse and first on the field.
“He wakes up and thinks about baseball,” teammate Mike Carp said. “He gets here at noon, it’s baseball. He wants to win. He’s a winner. Personally, I wish I had more of his characteristics.”
Pedroia is one of eight players to win a World Series and Gold Glove, as well as be named Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player.
“He’s the kind of player that every Red Sox fan wants to see in the field and at the plate,” Red Sox owner John Henry said. “[Former manager Terry Francona] used to say, ‘If I had nine Dustins we’d win every game.’ ”
Pedroia had been signed through the 2014 season, and the Sox held an $11 million option for 2015.
Negotiations began in spring training, and Pedroia said he never considered testing free agency.
“I’m not here to set markets,” Pedroia said. “I’m here to win more games than the other second basemen.”