Second baseman Dustin Pedroia will remain the face of the Boston Red Sox for the next decade after agreeing to a seven-year, $100 million contract extension.
Pedroia, 29, is poised to become the highest-paid 5-foot-6, 165-pound player 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, and the fan favorite continues to be a productive sparkplug in the Boston lineup. The Red Sox have the best record in the American League entering Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays and by shedding big-ticket salaries last year, they have freed up money to sign the four-time All-Star.
The new contract is close to the six-year, $100 million pact that Evan Longoria signed with the Rays last season. It could also be the benchmark for pending free agent Robinson Cano, the Yankees' All-Star playing out the final year of his contract. Cano turns 31 in October. He joined Jay-Z's Roc Nation group and general manager Brian Cashman said Cano already has turned down "significant" offers.
Pedroia is in the fourth year of a six-year, $40.5 million deal.
Pedroia, the 2008 AL MVP, 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 .325, 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."