BOSTON (CBS) — Dustin Pedroia is going to be the face of the Red Sox for a very long time.
The on- and off-field leader of Boston’s baseball team agreed to a seven-year contract extension worth around $100 million, according to ESPN. WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche confirmed the report, saying the deal would be made official once Pedroia passes a physical.
Pedroia spoke in the Red Sox clubhouse on Tuesday afternoon, saying the deal wasn’t official yet. He did speak to what the agreement means to him.
“This is my home. I love being here, I love my teammates, I love the city, so if it becomes that, I’ll be pretty excited,” Pedroia said. “I wanted to make sure I’m playing my last game here. It’s important.”
He said that even at this point in his career, he wants to prove the Red Sox right for drafting him in the second round back in 2004.
“The Red Sox drafted me. A lot of teams passed on me because of my size and stuff like that, so it’s pretty important,” Pedroia said. “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 [having] me be here my whole career.”
Reports circulated over the weekend and into Monday that the Red Sox and Pedroia were close to an agreement that would pay him roughly $20 million per year. However, the reported deal is for a little more than $14 million per season.
Pedroia, who will turn 30 years old in August, is under contract through the 2014 season. The agreed-upon extension will begin in the 2015 season and will run through 2021, when he’ll be 38 years old.
He was asked if he expects his teammates to look at him differently now, and the diminutive second baseman’s humor was quick to come out.
“Not really,” he said. “They still have to look down at me. I’m pretty short.”
Already in his career, Pedroia has won a World Series, Rookie of the Year Award, MVP Award, a Silver Slugger Award and two Gold Glove Awards. In 956 career games, the second baseman owns a .303 average, .371 on-base percentage, .457 slugging percentage and an .828 OPS. His single-season career high in home runs is 21, and he’s played in an average of 138 games per season since 2007, only missing significant time in 2010 when he broke a bone in his foot with a foul ball.
“It’s the only thing I know. I love putting on the Red Sox uniform every day,” he said. “Every game is important to me and my teammates, and it’s pretty special.”
Pedroia last signed a deal with the Red Sox in December 2008, a six-year pact that paid him an average annual salary of $6.7 million.