There is a new face of the Red Sox franchise. On Wednesday the Boston Red Sox announced that they have agreed to an eight-year $110 million contract extension with All-Star second baseman, Dustin Pedroia.
The contract was announced on the Fenway Park field in front of media members and teammates on a makeshift podium and stage with Pedroia fittingly wearing a Red Sox uniform. A uniform that will most likely be the only uniform he wears for the rest of his career.
The deal will lock up Pedroia through the 2021 season when he will be 38. It will likely let Pedroia finish his career with and retire a Red Sock, much like Derek Jeter will with the Yankees. The deal will also make Pedroia the highest paid second baseman in major league baseball.
Pedroia was 2007 AL Rookie of the Year and was AL MVP the following year. A career .303 hitter, he has made five all-star appearances so far in his seven year career.
The Red Sox have had many faces of the franchise over the years; Ted Williams, Carl Yastremski, Nomar Garciaparra, David Ortiz, and now Pedroia.
Signing Pedroia to this type of contract is a risk -- as any long term contract, especially one over five years -- but this is a well calculated risk and is worth EVERY. SINGLE. PENNY!
Here's why. Pedroia, while experiencing injuries in two of the last three seasons, has been fairly reliable and dependable. This season, he has been playing the entire season with a torn ligament in his thumb and has been able to hit .303 with 6 home runs and 58 RBI's this season.
His work ethic is second to none showing up to the ballpark at noon for a 7 pm game, according to teammate David Ortiz.
"Greatness lies in the immeasurables. Character and the unique and extraordinary ability to unify and lead a team to heights that most thought were not possible cannot be measured. Heart and the unbridled passion and drive to win cannot be measured," Pedroia's agent Seth Levinson told MLB.com Red Sox beat reporter Ian Browne.
Pedroia's leadership and work ethic is exactly the type of player that the Red Sox want to be leading their clubhouse helping the young guys like Will Middlebrooks and Jose Iglesias become professionals with a strong work ethic.
Pedroia is a player that the Red Sox can build around. The Red Sox made Pedroia that player by giving him this contract.
"Dustin's value far transcends his statistics, and he is the epitome of the player who embodies all of the immeasureables that are necessary to win," Levinson said.
Pedroia has shown that the heart of a champion can not be measured based on the height of the person for the first seven years of his career. Pedroia has eight more years to show us exactly what a heart of a champion and the will to win can bring.