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MVPedroia Signs Six-Year Deal With Red Sox

Dustin Pedroia is having quite a winter. Weeks after winning the American League MVP award, the second baseman just signed a six-year extension with the Red Sox worth some $40.5 million. That's an enormous raise of his 2008 salary of $457,000, but it's probably also a savings in the long-term for the Red Sox, who bought up the rest of his arbitration-eligible years as well as the first two years of his free agency potential with the deal.

ESPN's Peter Gammons first reported the deal, with FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal and the Boston Globe (just for good measure, here's Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald on it, too) were on top of the signing, which places Pedroia right in the mix among the most well-compensated of all young players who weren't yet eligible for free agency. The other most notable names on that list include Mets third baseman David Wright ($55 million over six years) and Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez ($70 million for six years) for those of you who are more NL East inclined.

Pedroia, who was the 2007 AL Rookie of the Year, hit .326 with 17 home runs and 83 RBI in a season in which he was both an All Star and won the Gold Glove for second baseman as well as the position's Silver Slugger award. That's a pretty good run. He also scored the only Red Sox run in Game 7 of the ALCS. If he'd gotten a little more help from his teammates he might have made it 2-for-2 in making it to the World Series, too.

As much as Pedroia's bat and glove have been cited among the Red Sox's best assets, his leadership in the clubhouse has been mentioned as a developing asset that could make him the frontman in Boston as the team slowly transitions into post-David Ortiz years. The two combined as running mates in clubhouse pranks in 2008, once connecting with Jonathan Papelbon's mother to release film of the Red Sox closer dancing in drag and performing in West Side Story while in high school. The duo released the film in the clubhouse under the sobriquet "Large Father Productions".

So, what do people think about Pedroia's big deal? Is it a big deal (yeah, it pretty much unequivocally is). Does this mean the Red Sox will have to splash cash on their other young-ish players (Kevin Youkilis, Papelbon), too? It certainly will change the dymanic among the team's young core, or so one would think.

By Cameron Smith  |  December 3, 2008; 12:34 PM ET
Categories:  Red Sox  
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Tony Mazz wrote a piece last week about the possibility that the Red Sox may end up locking up the system products (Lester, Papelbon, and Youk, with Del Carmen and Ellsbury to a lesser extent) and maintain a lower payroll, dropping from last year's ~$134 million to closer to $120 million. That may even leave room for one major signing, since their payroll is down around $100 million before arbitration and extensions. Here is a link to Mazz's piece, as well as a link to the SoSH discussion of their payroll:

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 3, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

He had a good year, but we'll see if he's consitently good. Brian Roberts had one really good year, then hasn't been as good since (noted though that the good year ended with a pretty bad elbow injury).

Posted by: zimm1 | December 3, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

It's a good deal for both sides -- Boston locks up a good young player at a reasonable price, and the small, scrappy unlikely MVP gets more than he ever dreamed of.

Oh, and JCA gets Red Sox news right here on BI.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 3, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"He had a good year, but we'll see if he's consitently good."

He's had two good years. Remember, he was AL Rookie of the Year in 2007.

Posted by: staxowax | December 3, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

This was a great deal for the Sox. How many times in the last decade can you sign a new MVP for $6M? He'll still be making less than half what Sox LF JD Drew is making.

This was not a strong year for big sluggers who usually win the mvp, but Pedroia is a very worthy candidate. If is rarely mentioned that like the NL winner Pujols, Pedroia rarely strikes out. Even if he hadn't won the mvp, he'd still have gotten a similar contract I believe. But that extra honor sure didn't hurt his negotiating position.

Posted by: rjma1 | December 3, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Good deal for the Sox. Even if he's terrible from now on, the contract is not so big that will turn into an albatross. And they were smart in waiting for him to have two good seasons under his belt...this is not like the Longoria deal in which the player has virtually no ML service time.

Posted by: PhilliePhanatic | December 3, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

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