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BOSTON (CBS) — It’s official: Dustin Pedroia will remain with the Red Sox through 2021.
The team announced Wednesday afternoon that Pedroia agreed to an eight-year extension that will begin in 2014.
“Dustin’s numbers are great, but they don’t tell you how committed he is to winning,”manager John Farrell said in the team release. “Watch him every day, on the field and in the clubhouse, and you see exceptional skill and passion. His teammates will tell you: he’s a winner, a winner who loves the Red Sox and a winner who loves Boston.”
Pedroia, who turns 30 in August, ranks second all time to Bobby Doerr in franchise records for hits, runs, doubles, home runs, RBIs, walks, extra-base hits, total bases and All-Star selections for a second baseman. He won AL Rookie of the Year in 2007, the AL MVP Award in 2008 and Gold Glove Awards in 2008 and 2011, and he’s well on his way to another this season.
“This place is the only place I’ve known since I started playing professional baseball and it’s my home,” Pedroia said Wednesday. “I love every single part of being a Red Sox and I’ll do all I can for the remainder of my time here to help us any way I can; to do the right things on and off the field and bring an attitude that the Red Sox are going to try to win every single year and win our last game.”
“I can’t wait to be here and put on that uniform every day,” he added. “It means the world to me to be with my teammates and try to represent this city the right way. Thank you to everybody; I really appreciate it and it’s going to be fun.”
The Red Sox’ release was certainly not afraid to heap praise upon Pedroia.
“Known for his gritty style and dirty uniform, Pedroia, 29, joins Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Thurman Munson, Cal Ripken, Jr., and Albert Pujols as the only players ever to have won a World Series and Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and Rawlings Gold Glove awards,” the release said. “He is the Red Sox’ most accomplished second baseman since Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr.”
Pedroia will earn $12.5 million over the next two seasons, with his salary increasing in each of the three years after that ($13 million in 2016, $15 million in 2017 and $16 million in 2018). His yearly salary will then drop each year, with the second baseman earning $15 million in 2019, $14 million in 2020 and $12 million in 2021.
When asked if he would regret potentially leaving money on the table, Pedroia said that’s not what his game is all about.
“I’m not here to set markets or anything like that. Our job is to win games, and that’s what I play for,” he said. “It was a no-brainer to me. This is the place where they gave me an opportunity to play pro baseball. I want to do all I can to prove those people, who took a chance on me, right.”