It's rare these days in Major League Baseball to see a player end his career with the team he was drafted by or even signed as an undrafted or international player.
Helton, because of the fact when I worked in the minor leagues, he was one of the players that came through where I worked. And Rivera because he is probably the greatest closer this game has seen and has garnered the respect of opposing fans and players every where.
Well now, we can add Boston Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia to that list.
On Wednesday, the Red Sox announced that they and Pedroia have agreed on a contract extension that will keep him in Boston through the 2021 season. Basically, he'll retire with the team that drafted him. The deal is worth $110 million over eight seasons beginning with the 2014 season.
His previous contract was set to expire after the 2014 season with a team option of $11 million in 2015.
This is a great signing for the Red Sox.
Not only does it keep one of their leaders around for the coming years, but it may end up saving them a little money to keep him around.
With Robinson Cano set to test the free agency waters after the season, the price of elite second baseman will go up. Cano is likely to get $20 million a year from whatever team signs him. And when you compare the two players, you'll see their numbers are similar.
So if Cano gets an eight year deal worth $160 million, the Red Sox in theory would save $50 million for a player who is equal to Cano if not better.
Now the only thing left to wonder is will the Red Sox slap the "C" on Pedroia's No. 15 uniform. He's already the de facto leader, why not make it official.
Click on the continue reading button below to see the full release from the Red Sox.
BOSTON, MA – The Boston Red Sox today signed All-Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia to an eight-year contract beginning in 2014 and continuing through the 2021 season. Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington made the announcement.
Known for his gritty style and dirty uniform, Pedroia, 29, joins Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Thurman Munson, Cal Ripken, Jr., and Albert Pujols as the only players ever to have won a World Series and Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and Rawlings Gold Glove awards. He is the Red Sox' most accomplished second baseman since Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr.
"Dustin's numbers are great, but they don't tell you how committed he is to winning," said Manager John Farrell. "Watch him every day, on the field and in the clubhouse, and you see exceptional skill and passion. His teammates will tell you: he's a winner, a winner who loves the Red Sox and a winner who loves Boston."
Scouted, drafted, and signed by the Red Sox, the 5-foot 8, 165-pound Woodland, CA native is already second to Doerr among Red Sox second basemen in hits, runs, doubles, home runs, RBI, walks, extra-base hits, total bases, and All-Star selections.
This year, his fourth as an All-Star, he has hit .306 (121-for-395) with 25 doubles, one triple, six home runs, 58 RBI, and 51 walks in 101 games. He has started all but one of the club's 102 games and has reached base safely in 89, tied for fourth most in the majors. He is among American League leaders in average (12th), times on base (3rd, 174), hits (6th), multi-hit games (T-2nd, 37), on-base percentage (6th, .384), walks (7th), and runs scored (T-10th, 58).
A second-round pick (and the club's first overall selection) in the 2004 June Draft, he won American League Rookie of the Year honors in 2007 and the AL MVP Award in 2008. Only Cal Ripken, Jr. and Ryan Howard have also won such league honors in consecutive seasons. The Arizona State star was signed by Dan Madsen, formerly a Red Sox scout and currently a crosschecker in the team's amateur scouting department.
In his 957 major league games, he has hit .303 (1,146-for-3,783) with 270 doubles, 12 triples, 96 home runs, 618 runs, 467 RBI, and 1,728 total bases. He has hit .322 lifetime at Fenway Park, the third-best home batting average among active American Leaguers. His 168 doubles already rank 10th in the history of the park.
Among second basemen, his career .991 fielding percentage is the best mark in American League history among those with at least 650 games. He won Rawlings Gold Gloves in 2008 and 2011. This year, he leads the majors with a .996 fielding percentage at second base, with only two errors in 459 chances.
In his career, Pedroia has drawn 400 walks and has struck out just 379 times, the lowest strikeout total among active players with at least 300 walks. His lifetime rate of 11.3 plate appearances per strikeout is the best mark among active AL players, and he ranks fifth among active major leaguers in two-strike batting average (.257).
His 116 stolen bases are the most ever by a Red Sox second baseman and rank eighth overall in club history, while his four seasons with at least 15 steals and 15 home runs are the most in club history. He is one of seven Red Sox players to post a 20-home run/20-stolen base season (2011).
Since the start of his first full season in 2007, Pedroia's 266 doubles are second behind Robinson Cano's 278. In that time, he ranks fourth in the AL in runs (613), fifth in hits (1,129), sixth in batting average (.306), and fifth in multi-hit games (328). He is also fifth with 1,553 times on base and fourth with 16,633 pitches faced.
Pedroia's dedication to the Jimmy Fund has been a constant since joining the Red Sox. A spokesman for the Jimmy Fund's Rally Against Cancer fundraiser in 2008, he spends time with patients during visits and events on behalf of the charity. He has also worked closely with Make-A-Wish, meeting with children and their families.
photo credit: getty images