Today, the Boston Red Sox and 2007 AL Rookie of the Year, Gold Glove Award, Silver Slugger Award, and MVP award winner (phew, that’s a lot in two years!) Dustin Pedroia reached an agreement that will guarantee Dustin a Red Sox until 2014. It was a 6 year, 40.5 million dollar contract, and included is a seventh year option (yay!) worth $11. By winning the MVP, Silver Slugger and Gold Glove award in the same year, Pedroia is now among only 8 others in AL history. Pedroia also joined only two others- Ryan Howard (’05-’06) and Cal Ripken Jr. (’82-’83) to win the MVP award the year after attaining the rookie of the year award.
By signing this, Pedroia gave up two potential years of free agency, which would have started in 2013, but that’s okay, we want to keep Pedroia here for a long time. The deal included a 1.5 million dollar signing bonus, and Pedroia’s income will continually increase every year. From 1.5 in 2009, to $10 in 2014. However, it is a pay-raise from the $500,000 he made this year.
Pedroia’s contract is near the largest given to a “non-arbitration eligible” player joining Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins, David Wright of the Mets, and Ryan Braun of the Brewers. The last time that the Red Sox signed a contract like this to a non-arbitration eligible player was in 1998 to guess who… Nomar Garciaparra after he won the Rookie of the Year award.
“[Pedroia’s] a well-rounded player…Offensively, what he’s accomplished speaks for itself. Defensively, he’s made an unbelievable transition from shortstop to second, and we think he’s one of the best defensive second baseman in the game as well and runs the bases really well, despite his lack of blazing speed. What’s not to like about this guy?”
Theo Epstein seems to be very happy with this deal (his thumb appears to be up… he doesn’t smile too often), he, as well as virtually everyone else in the clubhouse, and even perhaps the major leagues, seem to enjoy Dustin’s confident (and hilarious) attitude, and his determined and hard-working mentality.
“It’s something we’re thrilled about…It’s definitely something we wanted as a club and something I think Dustin was looking to do as well. It came together as a product of a lot of hard work. He really embodies just about everything we look for in a Red Sox player. That makes this a great day for the organization.”
Equally as important, if not more, Pedroia is happy as well.
championships. My first thought about the whole thing was, ‘I play for the best team in the Major Leagues.’ Who wouldn’t want to play for the Boston Red Sox? We’re going to have an opportunity to win every year. The fans are the best. The city embraces their team, so why not? It fits.”
“That means I get to be here in the place I love for the next six or seven years. That’s the way I looked at it.”
It is obvious that Pedroia has grown to love the atmosphere that he is playing in, which I think is more important than how much money he makes. Money can’t buy happiness, and I think that when a player loves where he’s playing- loves the fans, loves everything about his environment- that’s when money stops mattering, all that matters is his happiness, and that’s when he plays the best.
I am so happy that Pedroia is happy here, and I hope that he continues to be happy, and “love” the Boston Red Sox.