Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia is poised to become the highest paid 5-foot-6, 165-pound player baseman in the history of the game. The Red Sox and Pedroia made significant progress for a contract extension worth $100 million during the All-Star Break. Talks have been ongoing since the offseason, but Yahoo! Sports said Boston now has incentive to lock up the popular Pedroia. The Red Sox have the best record in the American League and by shedding big-ticket salaries last year, they have freed up money to sign the popular 29-year-old. There still is a gap in years and dollars, but talks are expected to continue in the second half of the season. Pedroia is in the fourth year of a six-year, $40.5 million deal. Pedroia is a four-time All-Star and the 2008 AL MVP. He owns career .304 batting average and is playing some of the best ball of his career this year. An excellent fielder and above-average base runner, he is batting .316, and has a career-high .396 on-base percentage. Red Sox principal owner John Henry told Boston radio station WEEI that team ownership is hesitant in this economy about giving out long-term deals, but would be more willing to do so with players currently within the organization. "You have to look at every situation, every player differently," Henry said. "Dustin Pedroia, completely different player. Dustin would be different than going out into a free-agent market and signing someone." According to Yahoo! Boston and Pedroia are discussing a deal similar to the six-year, $100 million deal Evan Longoria and the Tampa Bay Rays agreed on last year.
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