UPDATE: Thursday, July 25, at 10:05 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
WEEI's Alex Speier has the latest from Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, Pedroia's agent, Seth Levinson and former Arizona State manager Pat Murphy:
Dustin Pedroia's landmark contract with theRed Sox -- an eight-year, $110 million deal that is valued (due to deferrals) by Major League Baseball at $13.2 million per season -- represents a striking demonstration of a player's values...
... 'I'm not here to set markets or do anything like that. I want to make sure that the team I'm on wins more games than the other team's second baseman,' Pedroia said at the press conference to announce his deal. 'That's the way I look at it. Our job is to win games, and that's what I play for.'
... 'I think that was important to Dustin,' said Sox GM Ben Cherington. 'Obviously, there had to be a certain total guarantee. It had to be significant. We knew we had to get into that range of where prominent franchise players are. But the length of the deal gives us a chance to build the best team every year. That was important to Dustin.'
... 'He didn’t want to be the contract albatross. He didn’t want to be the aging player that had a greater percentage of the payroll, limiting the team’s flexibility,' said Seth Levinson, Pedroia's agent with ACES. 'It was absolutely his direction.'
... 'Good thing that [the Red Sox] didn’t negotiate with Dustin. He would’ve signed for $5 million for five years. He just wants to play ball and take care of his family and take care of others,' said [Pat] Murphy.
... 'We explained to him that this is financial lunacy. To approach the club four years before free agency gives you little or no leverage,' said Levinson. '[But] his prime directives all along have been two things: One, that he be treated fairly and with respect; and two, he play his entire career in Boston. This contract achieves both those ends. It was always his motivation, his drive, his quest and money was really never a factor.'
---End of update---
UPDATE: Wednesday, July 24, at 2:50 p.m. ET by Kyle Vassalo
Alex Speier of WEEI.com breaks down the details of Pedroia's deal:
Pedroia deal: $1M bonus, 2014-15 $12.5M, 2016 $13M, 2017 $15M, 2018 $16M, 2019 $15M, 2020 $13M, 2021 $12M so $110M over 8 yrs; some $ defer— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) July 24, 2013
Mike Cole of NESN provides a quote from Pedroia on his new deal:
Pedroia: "It was a no-brainer to me. This is the place they gave me an opportunity to play baseball. ... I'm not here to set markets."— Mike Cole (@MikeColeNESN) July 24, 2013
UPDATE: Tuesday, July 23, at 1:31 p.m. EST by Tom Kinslow
Rob Bradford of WEEI has a major update on the status of negotiations between the Red Sox and Pedroia.
---End of update---
According to Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan, the two parties are deep in negotiations, but nothing is imminent. The current parameters of the deal, of which the length and annual figure have yet to be finalized, could put Pedroia north of $100 million.
Sources close to the situation told Passan that the two sides are working under a tentative framework of a $20 million annual figure over five or six seasons. The negotiations reportedly picked up steam at the All-Star break, where Boston brass and Pedroia's representatives began moving quickly to hammer out a deal.
Though moving quickly, both parties have plenty of time to come to terms. Pedroia is under Boston's control for the next two seasons, and he's set to make $10 million in 2014. The Red Sox have the option to pick up Pedroia's $11 million salary for 2015. It's unclear whether the extension would then begin in 2016, or whether the current deal would be ripped up, with Pedroia's contract starting anew in 2014.
The agreement, if struck during the regular season, would make Pedroia the highest-paid second baseman in the league by a significant margin. Texas Rangers star Ian Kinsler currently has the highest annual salary at $15 million, which also represents the highest value in major league history for a second baseman, per Baseball Prospectus.
No matter where Pedroia's deal falls under the current spectrum, it is likely to dwarf the current record. Pedroia's run at the most lucrative contract for second basemen will likely be short-lived, as the Yankees' Robinson Cano will hit the open market and could become the highest-paid middle infielder in baseball history. (Passan notes that Cano's bidding will likely start in the $200 million range.)
That said, there are plenty MLB observers who would argue Pedroia has been as valuable to the Red Sox as Cano to the Yankees.
The 2008 American League MVP, Pedroia is a four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner. Since bursting onto the scene as a rookie during Boston's 2007 World Series run, Pedroia has become nearly as synonymous with the franchise as David Ortiz.
The 29-year-old Pedroia is in the midst of another fine season, hitting .316 with six home runs and 56 RBI before the All-Star break. AL All-Star manager Jim Leyland selected Pedroia to the team, his first such honor since 2010.
Pedroia's Red Sox have been one of the most surprising stories of baseball's first half, surging to a 59-39 record and a 2.5-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East through Friday.
Boston was expected to have a second consecutive subpar season after trading Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett to the Los Angeles Dodgers last August, a move that freed up a massive chunk of salary for the free-spending Sox.
If Passan's report holds true, it seems the Red Sox are planning to use some of that money to lock up one of their city's favorite stars.
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