Dustin Pedroia Rumors
Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow is likely out for the season due to an entrapped radial nerve in his right forearm, a source told Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca last night. The issue is likely to be treated with extended rest rather than surgery, Davidi adds. The Blue Jays have since announced that Morrow will be out for approximately six weeks. Morrow, who turns 29 tomorrow, is under contract for $8MM next year and has a $10MM club option for 2015. The Blue Jays are finished this year, as a seven-game losing streak has dropped them to 11 games out in the wild card. Elsewhere in the AL East...
- The Red Sox appear "just as likely to stand pat as they are to add another reliever," writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. He says the team has not stepped up its search despite losing Andrew Bailey for the season, though they continue to monitor the market.
- "We explained to him that this is financial lunacy," agent Seth Levinson said in reference to Dustin Pedroia wanting to approach the Red Sox as early as 2011 about spending the rest of his career in Boston (WEEI's Alex Speier reporting). "Money was never really a factor," explained Levinson, who also said Pedroia chose years over salary partly to avoid becoming a contract albatross.
- Contract offers of more than five years are hard to come by, Rays third baseman Evan Longoria told Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, and he understands why Pedroia left "a few extra dollars lying on the table." Longoria did so himself in a pair of contract extensions.
- "There's no glaring place to be doing anything," Rays owner Stuart Sternberg told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times in regard to his club's needs. Still, the team is always looking to upgrade for the present and future.
- Along with the Yankees, the Red Sox are also still intrigued by Phillies third baseman Michael Young, a Major League source tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Having dropped four in a row, the Phillies are eight games out in the NL East and worse off in the wild card.
- Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano "asked for a couple days to think about" a potential trade to the Yankees, president Theo Epstein told reporters including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune yesterday. Adding Soriano would be a "good first step" for the Yankees, writes Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues, but the team still has to address needs at third base and behind the plate.
- Cuban outfielder Dariel Alvarez, who recently signed with the Orioles for $800K, "struggles against live pitching," according to scouts who spoke to Baseball America's Ben Badler.
The Red Sox have secured the face of their franchise through the 2021 season. The team today officially announced the signing of second baseman Dustin Pedroia to an eight-year extension that will take effect in 2014. Pedroia, who is represented by ACES, will reportedly receive $110MM over the life of the contract.
Prior to this agreement, Pedroia was on a contract that paid him $10MM in 2013 and 2014 with a team-friendly club option for $11MM in 2015. The fresh contract will start in 2014 and slightly increase his salary next season but provide the Red Sox with an average annual value of less than $14MM for the four-time All-Star and 2008 American League MVP. In essence, he is receiving seven additional years and $100MM in new money.
Pedroia will reportedly receive a $1MM signing bonus before earning $12.5MM in 2014-15, $13MM in 2016, $15MM in 2017, $16MM in 2018, $15MM in 2019, $13MM in 2020 and $12MM in 2021. The contract also contains some deferred money.
We learned late last week that the Red Sox had begun talks with the soon-to-be 30-year-old on an extension. It's possible that the Red Sox were motivated by Robinson Cano's impending free agency to lock up their own standout second baseman. A colossal deal for the Yankees star would ostensibly raise the bar for players at that position.
In 449 plate appearances this season, Pedroia is slashing .308/.385/.422 with six home runs. For his career, the four-time All-Star owns a career slash line of .303/.371/.457. In addition to his bat, Pedroia delivers plenty of value with his glove, as he's consistently among the best fielding second basemen in the game. Ultimate Zone Rating suggests that Pedroia saves 9.5 runs per 150 games played, while The Fielding Bible feels that he's been 74 runs above average over the course of 8192 1/3 innings at second base. To date, Fangraphs pegs Pedroia's value at 32.3 wins above replacement, while Baseball-Reference values his on-field contributions at 36.2 WAR.
Pedroia's contract tops the previous deals signed by superstar second baseman such as Chase Utley, Ian Kinsler and Brandon Phillips (also an ACES client). By signing this deal, Pedroia will become the first second baseman to receive a contract of $100MM or more. The new pact represents the first significant contract extension by Ben Cherington since becoming Boston's general manager, though Cherington did work out a two-year deal to avoid arbitration with left-hander Craig Breslow.
Rob Bradford of WEEI.com was the first to report the extension and the full no-trade protection (Twitter links). WEEI.com's Alex Speier provided the year-to-year breakdown of Pedroia's contract (on Twitter).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
Dustin Pedroia is very likely to finish his career in Boston now that he and the Red Sox have agreed to a seven-year, $100MM extension that will run through the 2021 season. Here is a roundup of news about the deal will impact Pedroia, the Red Sox and another certain AL East second baseman...
- Pedroia told reporters (including Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe) that he put a priority on being a Red Sox player for life out of loyalty to the club. "The Red Sox drafted me and a lot of teams passed on me because of my size and stuff like that," Pedroia said. "It's pretty important. That's why I want to work as hard as I can to make sure that they made the choice in drafting me and me being here my whole career."
- This feeling manifested itself in the timing of Pedroia's extension, as WEEI.com's Rob Bradford points out that Pedroia put the team ahead of waiting until free agency or until Robinson Cano had signed his new contract.
- Speaking of Cano, Pedroia's acceptance of a "hometown discount" type of contract could affect Cano's forthcoming free agent contract, opines David Brown of Yahoo Sports. It has been speculated that Cano's next deal will pay him $200MM and Cano is "a better player than Pedroia, though not by that much. He's not twice as good as Pedroia." I suspect that with big spenders like the Yankees and Dodgers involved in the Cano sweepstakes, Cano won't have any trouble finding a deal in the $200MM range, Pedroia's deal notwithstanding.
- Pedroia's value to the Red Sox goes beyond the field and, given Boston's clubhouse problems in 2012, CBS Sports' Danny Knobler writes that the team wanted to ensure that one of its key leaders would remain in the fold.
- Second basemen have a history of declining in their early 30's, but Fangraphs' Dave Cameron still likes the Pedroia extension for the Red Sox since they were able to get him at a relative bargain price. "With the going rate of inflation in baseball, $15 million per year could easily be the market price for an average player by the middle of this contract," Cameron writes. He also uses Ian Kinsler's five-year, $75MM extension with the Rangers as a comparison and notes that Kinsler and Pedroia have similar value as hitters and Pedroia has a large defensive edge.
Clay Buchholz of the Red Sox has an appointment with Dr. James Andrews Monday that will help determine Boston's level of interest in trading for a starting pitcher at the deadline, reports Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. Buchholz, who has bursitis in his right shoulder, has not pitched since June 8. If Andrews says Buchholz can start throwing again, the Red Sox will be less likely to trade for a starting pitcher like Bud Norris or Jake Peavy this month. Here's more out of Boston.
- Another factor in the Red Sox's decision about whether to add pitching is the "readiness" of younger pitchers Drake Britton, Brandon Workman, Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Red Sox must weigh their goal of being competitive in the future against their goal of competing in the present, and are unlikely to blow up their farm system, particularly not for a rental. Rosenthal also mentions Peavy, who is under contract through next season, as a possible choice for the Sox.
- The Sox are targeting bullpen help at the trade deadline, although they also could pursue a starter or third baseman, Evan Drellich of MassLive.com reports. The Sox have scouted Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez, but Drellich suggests that the price may be too high.
- Fear of Robinson Cano's next contract could motivate the Red Sox to sign Dustin Pedroia to an extension, Rosenthal reports. Pedroia is under contract for $10MM in 2014, and the Sox have an $11MM option on him for 2015. Cano is, of course, a free agent after this season, and should command a huge contract that could raise the bar for Pedroia. If Pedroia agrees a new deal with the Sox before Cano signs his next contract, Rosenthal says, that will prove that Pedroia "is not all about the money." The Red Sox recently offered Pedroia an extension.
- Tim Britton of the Providence Journal makes a similar argument (that Cano's potentially enormous extension could increase the price on a potential Pedroia contract), and also notes that Pedroia's leadership could further motivate the Red Sox to strike a deal. "Last year, we had a real lesson on what chemistry can do to a club," says Sox principal owner John Henry. "What’s happened this year is further indication. I just don’t think we appreciated how much chemistry can mean to a baseball team." Also, Britton argues that, in addition to a Pedroia deal making sense for the Red Sox, it's also in Pedroia's best interest to do a deal now at age 29, rather than waiting to hit the free agent market when he's 32.
10:07pm: The Red Sox made a formal extension offer to Pedroia over the All-Star break, tweets Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. He quotes the source as saying that the "ball is in their court," apparently referring to Pedroia and his advisers. Edes notes that the offer could exceed $100MM, though he bases that figure on the ballpark figures reported earlier by Passan.
5:15pm: The Red Sox are in long-term extension talks with star second baseman Dustin Pedroia, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. According to Passan, the prospective deal would make Pedroia -- a client of ACES -- the game's highest-paid second baseman (at least until Robinson Cano gets a new contract).
While Passan says that the parties picked up their talks over the All-Star break, after having previously explored an extension during the spring, WEEI.com's Rob Bradford reports that discussions have taken place over the course of the first half of the season. Progress has recently been made, according to Bradford's sources.
Pedroia's current contract runs at least through next season, and includes a team-friendly $11MM option for 2015. Nevertheless, Passan says, the sides are motivated to make a new deal. He writes that the parties still are working through the length and value of the deal, but are talking in terms of a five to six year deal with an annual salary of around $20MM.
Such a deal would likely be the largest ever given to a player manning the keystone position. The second basemen currently setting the salary bar in terms of average annual value are Ian Kinsler ($15MM for 2013), Dan Uggla ($12.4MM), and Chase Utley ($12.1MM). Those three are also among the all-time list of second basemen in terms of total guaranteed money, although in a different order. Utley has received the largest total contract at $85MM, followed by Kinsler ($75MM), Brandon Phillips ($72.5MM), and Uggla ($62MM).
On this date seven years ago, the Angels signed an undrafted amateur free agent named Darren O'Day. Such transactions typically don't amount to much, but like his delivery, O'Day's story is anything but typical. He began his career as a 23-year-old at the Rookie-level Pioneer League but quickly ascended to Triple-A. By age 25, O'Day was in the Angels' bullpen but didn't replicate his minor league success. One Rule 5 selection and two waiver claims later, O'Day finds himself as a mainstay in the Orioles' bullpen. The 30-year-old signed a two-year, $5.8MM extension with a club option for 2015 in the offseason, which is probably exactly how he envisioned his life after he graduated from Florida with a degree in agricultural and life sciences and took the MCAT with hopes of becoming a plastic surgeon.
Here's more from around the league...
- Dustin Pedroia has been playing the entire season with a torn UCL in his left thumb, reports Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. Pedroia learned of the injury after jamming his hand in a head-first slide on Opening Day, but has elected to play "nicked up" (as he termed it). There's a possibility that the injury will require surgery following the season, but Pedroia chose not to elaborate on that scenario or on how the injury has affected his swing. “It’s a player’s decision to shut it down or play,’’ Pedroia said. “Players play."
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that the Royals need to stop living in denial. Manager Ned Yost recently said the team wasn't going to panic, but Rosenthal feels it's time to make some drastic changes and wonders if firing Yost could be one of them. He also speculates about the possibility of releasing Jeff Francoeur, demoting Mike Moustakas and firing a hitting coach.
- Justin Upton spoke with Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith about the honor of being selected No. 1 overall in a draft class that included Ryan Braun, Ryan Zimmerman, Troy Tulowitzki, Andrew McCutchen, Matt Garza, Jacoby Ellsbury, Alex Gordon and Jay Bruce.
Red Sox principal owner John Henry spoke with the media yesterday, looking back at a disappointing 2012 season and forward to 2013. Here's more on Henry and the Red Sox as Spring Training continues in Fort Myers...
- While Henry prefers to avoid unnecessarily long contracts, it’s possible Dustin Pedroia could be an exception, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. Henry said Pedroia is “everything you want in a player,” but noted the sides haven’t started extension talks just yet. Pedroia prefers to focus on the present, telling Bradford the contract will take care of itself. “The Red Sox, they know how I feel about them, and I know how they feel about me,” he said. Pedroia's contract covers the 2013-14 seasons with a club option for 2015.
- Before buying the Red Sox, Henry learned a lot about running a baseball team as a part-owner of the Yankees, Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal reports. Henry even has the four World Series rings from his years with the Yankees.
- Though Lyle Overbay had a minor league offer from the Brewers, he felt he would have been a “quick fix” in Milwaukee, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports (on Twitter). The Red Sox have spoken with Overbay about the possibility of using him in the outfield, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter).
In an appearance on WEEI radio's Red Sox Hot Stove show (partial transcript provided by WEEI.com's Alex Speier), Dustin Pedroia said he hadn't heard anything from his agents about any talks with the Red Sox about a possible contract extension. It was reported in November that Boston was interested in extending its second baseman, and Pedroia is eager to pursue such negotiations should they arise. "Obviously, I want to be a Red Sox my whole career and play in that city, turn this whole thing around to get back to where we were my first couple years there," Pedroia said.
Here's the latest from the AL East...
- The Red Sox are not only disinclined to give Adam LaRoche a three-year contract, but the club also doesn't want to surrender a draft pick to sign the free agent first baseman, tweets Peter Gammons. Boston has interest in LaRoche as a backup option if Mike Napoli can't be signed, and signing LaRoche would cost the Sox their second-round draft pick since LaRoche turned down a qualifying offer from the Nationals.
- Speaking of that Red Sox draft pick, WEEI.com's Rob Bradford looks at why Boston is hesitant to give up that selection.
- The Orioles "kicked the tires" on trading for Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak in each of the last two offseasons and also rated Smoak highly in his draft year, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Connolly sees Smoak as a good trade target for the O's and wonders if a Smoak-for-Brian Matusz deal would work for both teams. We heard earlier this week that the Orioles continued to have interest in Smoak, who could be expendable now that Seattle has Kendrys Morales in the fold.
- Jim Thome is "not an ideal fit" to return to the Orioles, writes MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli, as manager Buck Showalter would prefer to rotate his regulars through the DH spot. Earlier this month, Thome said he is open to returning in 2013 for his 23rd Major League season.
- The Rays' strong recent track record of signing veteran bullpen arms augers well for the Roberto Hernandez signing, writes MLB.com's Bill Chastain. Hernandez signed a one-year, $3.25MM deal with the Rays earlier this month.
The Red Sox intend to discuss a long-term extension with second baseman Dustin Pedroia during the offseason, reports Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston. A league source tells McDonald that a Pedroia extension isn't an immediate priority for the Sox but they'll look to open negotiations "at some point this offseason."
Pedroia still has two guaranteed years (worth $10MM each) remaining on the six-year, $40MM contract he signed with Boston in the wake of his MVP season in 2008, plus an $11MM club option for 2015. Pedroia will turn 32 during the 2015 season but McDonald believes the Sox could be looking to extend Pedroia before Robinson Cano's next contract sets a new market for elite second basemen.
Pedroia posted a .290/.347/.449 slash line in 2012, a solid performance that was still the lowest full-season OPS of his seven-year career. A new multiyear deal for Pedroia would surely top the five-year, $75MM extension the Rangers gave to Ian Kinsler in April, thus giving Pedroia the largest contract ever given to a second baseman in terms of highest average annual value. (Until Cano's new deal, at least.)
McDonald speculates that the Red Sox could also look to sign Will Middlebrooks and Jon Lester to extensions, though Lester would have to bounce back from his mediocre 2012 season first. Lester's current contract is only guaranteed through 2013 with a $13MM team option for 2014.
Here's the latest from baseball's two East divisions....
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos acknowledged to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca that his priorities this winter are pitching, second base, and left field. "There’s no question the priority is definitely in the rotation, with the dollars we have available, we have to be creative," he said. "Our payroll is going to be up from what it was last year but it doesn’t mean it’s a bottomless pit, there is a limit and there is an area we can go to."
- Ken Davidoff and George A. King III of The New York Post write that Yankees GM Brian Cashman is likely to meet with every agent who attends this week's GM Meetings, including Larry Reynolds. He represents both Torii Hunter and B.J. Upton.
- Edwin Jackson hasn't ruled out returning to the Nationals next season, writes Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com. The right-hander did make it clear that he will listen to offers from any team, however.
- During a recent radio appearance, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said that he is not leaving the ACES agency according to WEEI.com's DJ Bean. ACES is currently being investigated by MLB for its role in Melky Cabrera's PED-related suspension.