It sounds like a lot of money, and it is. Dustin Pedroia and the Boston Red Sox reportedly agreed in principle to a 7-year, $100 million contract extension Tuesday, meaning he will earn about $14 million a year through 2021, when he'll be 37 years old. Rob Bradford of WEEI radio in Boston reported it first.
Fourteen million of anything is lot, especially to you and me (unless you happen to be Donald Trump). But based on what Pedroia produces on the field (he's a frequent MVP candidate) at a position where it can be hard to find good help (it's easier to find left fielders and first basemen, for example) it's a bargain for the Red Sox. Pedroia is a great player at bat, in the field and in the clubhouse, for whatever that's worth in money. In average annual value, $14-15 million is somewhere beyond the top 50 in the major leagues. Pedroia surely is a top 50 player.
To get him for $14 million a season when you pay Shane Victorino $13 million a season, for example, it's a win.
Also consider that Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees is scheduled to hit free agency this offseason. Many have predicted that he'll get a $200 million deal from the Yanks, or from somebody (the Dodgers?). Not to be too math-intensive here, but $200 million is twice as much money as $100 million. Cano is a great player, a better player than Pedroia, though not by that much. He's not twice as good as Pedroia, who seems to be giving the Red Sox one of them "hometown discounts."
The question probably being asked in the Yankees front office right now is: "How much of a break will Cano give us?" Cano is probably asking, "Dustin, is that all you wanted?" Scott Boras, Cano's former agent, is probably asking: "What was I worried about, getting replaced by Jay-Z? This is somebody else's problem."
Pedroia is getting Ian Kinsler money — which is plenty — but it's not what Cano will get. In that sense, the non-greedy sense, good for him. Pedroia has the security now, and doesn't need to worry about being wined and dined in free agency whenever that would have come — especially when he obviously wants to stay in Boston. He doesn't feel the need to be paid absolute, top dollar. Or at least he agreed with his agent at ACES to approach the negotiations.
In return, the Red Sox get all that Pedroia encompasses at a likely savings — and a significant one. They could pay him $19 or $20 million per season, but they don't have to. That gives the Red Sox a chance to spend a little extra money somewhere else, which Pedroia probably considered, too.
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