Another knee setback has Dustin Pedroia mulling his future
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is again contemplating an uncertain future after what two major league sources said was a significant setback with the health of his left knee.
Pedroia, 36, is discussing his options with family members, the Red Sox, and his agents. The condition of his knee is such that playing again appears unlikely, but no decision has been reached about what will come next for one of the most accomplished players in team history.
The Red Sox were not counting on Pedroia being able to play, but they were supportive of his latest comeback attempt after five surgeries on his knee from 2016-19.
Pedroia had what was termed a “knee joint preservation procedure” at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo., on Aug. 6 and acknowledged three weeks later that his career could be over.
That changed in November, Pedroia telling the Red Sox that his recovery was progressing better than was expected and he was back to doing baseball workouts.
Several teammates joined him in Arizona for those sessions, lending optimism to the idea that Pedroia could perhaps return to the field on a more regular basis after playing only nine games the last two seasons.
But persistent inflammation in the knee ended those workouts.
Pedroia had surgery on his knee after the 2016 season to remove a section of his meniscus. He returned ready to play in 2017 but was badly injured on April 21 in Baltimore when Manny Machado aggressively slid past second base and spiked Pedroia in the knee.
Pedroia missed the next five games and 56 of the remaining 145 overall that season because of the injury. He still managed to hit .293 with a .760 OPS.
Once the season ended, Pedroia underwent cartilage restoration surgery in New York. But the surgery did not work as intended and his career since has been a series of frustrating starts and stops.
Pedroia played six games last April but returned to the injured list.
Pedroia has two years and a guaranteed $25 million remaining on his contract. That money will count against the team’s payroll as calculated for baseball’s luxury tax.
In 2018, the Mets released third baseman David Wright because of persistent injuries to his legs, back, and neck. They struck a deal to defer some of his remaining $27 million in salary and named Wright a special assistant to the general manager.
Wright’s agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, also represent Pedroia and could negotiate a similar deal for him.
The Red Sox signed free agent infielder Jose Peraza in December, planning to use him at second base. The team also has Michael Chavis and prospect C.J. Chatham as possibilities.
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Righthander Travis Lakins, who was designated for assignment last week, was traded to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later or cash. Lakins, 25, had a 3.86 earned run average in 16 appearances last season. The Sox also outrighted lefthander Bobby Poyner to Triple A Pawtucket after he cleared waivers. Poyner was designated for assignment last week. Poyner, 27, had 13 appearances, 12 in relief, last season.