Jul 20, 2013, 4:35 PM EST
There’s something to be said for rewarding a star player who has been underpaid most of his career. Dustin Pedroia is one of the two faces of the Red Sox, he’s a legitimate All-Star candidate every year and it’s possible he’ll go into the Hall of Fame someday. If he were a free agent this winter, a long-term, $20 million-per-year extension would make plenty of sense for the Red Sox. He’s worthy of that kind of money.
But, of course, Pedroia isn’t a free agent this winter. The Red Sox have him signed at the bargain rate of $10 million next year, with an $11 million club option for 2015. Those salaries can increase a bit if Pedroia finishes in the top three in the AL MVP balloting this year, but he’s a steal either way.
So, why sign Pedroia now? The plus for the Red Sox would seem to be to beat the big Robinson Cano deal that’s coming this winter. Cano is likely to get one of the biggest free agent contracts ever; $150 million for six years would be the low end for him. Something like $190 million for seven years might be more realistic. Pedroia might not want to settle for $20 million per year once Cano is making $25 million-$27 million.
But that’s basically the only reason to do it now. Pedroia is nine months younger than Cano, but he won’t be a free agent until he’s 32. Of Pedroia’s 10 most similar players through age 28, according to Baseball Reference, only one remained a star after age 32. That’s Charlie Gehringer, one of two Hall of Famers in his top 10. The other HOFer, Tony Lazzeri, had his last year as a regular at 33. Jose Vidro, Pedroia’s most similar player, had a lousy year at 33 and then vanished. Ray Durham and Michael Young, Nos. 3 and 4 on the list, lasted as regulars, but not as very good ones.
Probably in part because of the takeout slides and all of the diving around, second basemen tend to have shelf lives. Pedroia has been durable, missing a big chunk of a season just once in his career to date, but he does get banged up. It’s probably going to get worse in his 30s, given how hard he plays the game. If his body starts breaking down, he’ll turn worthless in a hurry.
There’s also one more big reason for the Red Sox not to do a deal: any contract extension immediately gets factored in for luxury tax purposes. With an average annual value under $7 million, Pedroia’s modest deal has been a big help to a franchise that’s been trying to edge up against, but not exceed, the tax threshold. Any new contract will result in a big jump in that figure next year. If you remember, it was luxury tax purposes that caused the Red Sox to delay wrapping up Adrian Gonzalez‘s big deal two years ago; they needed his cheap luxury-tax figure to carry over for one more year before they gave him his $22 million-per-year contract.
Pedroia is a wonderful player, and it’d be great to see him keep this up for another seven or eight years. Banking on it, though, would be a mistake. Ideally, the Red Sox could give Pedroia something like a two-year extension through 2017, with nice boosts to his 2014-15 salaries as part of the bargain. Since that probably isn’t happening, they should just let things play out for the next two years.
Dec 19, 2013, 11:00 PM EST
The Red Sox acquired utility infielder Jonathan Herrera from the Rockies yesterday in exchange for left-hander Franklin Morales and minor league right-hander Chris Martin, but manager John Farrell confirmed during an appearance on WEEI’s Hot Stove show this evening that the move doesn’t mean that the team has ruled out the return of Stephen Drew.…
Dec 19, 2013, 9:30 PM EST
We heard back in October that the Phillies had offered former manager Charlie Manuel a job to stay with the organization. While the 70-year-old was still hoping to land another managerial job elsewhere, with the Tigers’ vacancy mentioned as one possibility, nothing ever came of it. According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Manuel…
Dec 19, 2013, 8:06 PM EST
According to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, Giants first baseman/outfielder Brett Pill is in talks to play with the KIA Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization. Baggarly hears that the Giants already have a deal in place to sell his contract, so Pill is just working on the money involved. John Shea of the San Francisco…
Dec 19, 2013, 7:22 PM EST
The Orioles reportedly reached a two-year, $15 million deal with free agent closer Grant Balfour earlier this week, but the agreement has hit a snag. According to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, Balfour’s deal with Baltimore is in serious jeopardy due to issues with his physical that “need to be resolved.” While the signing was supposed…
Dec 19, 2013, 6:18 PM EST
Former Pirates right-hander Daniel McCutchen announced via his Twitter account this afternoon that he has signed a contract with the Rangers. It’s presumably of the minor league variety. McCutchen hasn’t appeared in the majors since August 21, 2012. The 31-year-old spent this past season in the Orioles’ minor league system, posting a 3.43 ERA and…
Dec 19, 2013, 4:30 PM EST
Today at ESPN Jim Caple takes a stab at listing the top 10 baseball songs of all time. He has “Centerfield” by John Fogerty at number one. I feel like picking the best baseball song is a fools’ errand if, for no other reason, than everyone has different musical tastes so who’s to say what…
Dec 19, 2013, 3:02 PM EST
One day after trading Danny Valencia for outfielder David Lough the Orioles have added some more outfield depth, with Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reporting that they’ve agreed to a minor-league deal with Xavier Paul. Paul has bounced around a lot without getting a ton of extended chances, hitting .254 with 12 homers and…
Dec 19, 2013, 2:47 PM EST
Dave Cameron of Fangraphs has a great post up that looks at the historical standards for the Hall of Fame and notes that Hall of Fame voters are being way, way, way harder on the current crop of candidates than their predecessors ever were on past candidates. Specifically: typically, between 1% and 2% of major…
Dec 19, 2013, 2:14 PM EST
Two offseasons ago Tsuyoshi Wada left Japan to sign a two-year, $8 million deal with Baltimore, but he underwent Tommy John elbow surgery before ever throwing a pitch for the Orioles. He hit the free agent market again after having a $5 million team option declined and now Wada has agreed to a minor-league deal…
Dec 19, 2013, 1:49 PM EST
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has had $3.6 million seized from his bank accounts as the result of a legal dispute with a baseball school in the Dominican Republic. The upshot: the baseball school claims that Castro’s father agreed to give the school a percentage of Castro’s…
Legendary Pictures’ Thomas Tull — the Producer of “42″ — named to the Hall of Fame Board of Directors
Dec 19, 2013, 12:58 PM EST
Thomas Tull, the chairman and CEO of Legendary Entertainment — which has produced countless movies including Pacific Rim, The Dark Knight, The Hangover movies, Watchmen, 300, Inception, Clash of the Titans, Man of Steel and The Town – has been elected to the Board of Directors for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, it was announced today. Of…
Dec 19, 2013, 12:32 PM EST
Corey Brown was designated for assignment by the Nationals last week and today they traded the 27-year-old outfielder to the A’s for cash considerations. Or traded him back to the A’s, since Brown was drafted 59th overall by Oakland in 2007 and then traded to Washington in the Josh Willingham deal in December of 2010.…
Dec 19, 2013, 12:05 PM EST
Jon Morosi reports that the White Sox are near an agreement with free agent reliever Scott Downs. Rosenthal says it’s a one-year deal for $4 million, with a vesting option that could make it two-years, $8 million. Downs, most recently with Atlanta, is coming off a season in which he posted a 2.49 ERA and…
Dec 19, 2013, 11:47 AM EST
Nelson Cruz is still a free agent and still talking to the Rangers about potentially re-signing, but both Cruz and general manager Jon Daniels have made a reunion sound highly unlikely. Here’s what Cruz told Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star Telegram: It’s been tough, but I understand it’s part of the process. Hopefully,…
Dec 19, 2013, 11:31 AM EST
John Jaha, Jamie Navarro, Chris Bosio and 55 others finally get their due! The Brewers announced Thursday the creation of a team Wall of Honor at Miller Park in 2014 as a way of honoring players who carved niches in franchise lore during their playing days and time as staff members in Milwaukee. The Wall…
Dec 19, 2013, 10:52 AM EST
Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy spoke with Fox’s Jimmy Traina and told him that protective headgear for pitchers is likely going to be available in 2014. It won’t be mandatory — McCarthy and most other pitchers are opposed to that at the moment — but the fact that there will be an approved and available piece…
Dec 19, 2013, 10:30 AM EST
Major League Baseball sought to depose Alex Rodriguez‘s cousin Yuri Sucart in the lawsuit it filed against Biogenesis and lots of other folks. That is, the lawsuit which gave Major League Baseball the handle with which to turn Anthony Bosch and others as it pursued Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and other ballplayers. Over the summer Sucart filed a writ…
Dec 19, 2013, 10:15 AM EST
Greg Reynolds, who was the second overall pick in a stacked 2006 draft, has signed with the Seibu Lions in Japan after posting a 7.01 ERA in the majors. Even at the time of the draft many people questioned why the Rockies went with Reynolds, whose upside was considered modest coming out of Stanford. Evan…
Dec 19, 2013, 9:10 AM EST
Juan Gonzalez made something like $90 million in salary alone during his baseball career, so maybe he’s doing this to simply clear out the clutter. But whatever the motivation, you can now get your hands on some hot, hot Juan Gonzalez memorabilia. Up for auction? His 1996 MVP award. His 1996 and 2001 Silver Slugger…
Dec 19, 2013, 8:40 AM EST
There are a couple of reports this morning that Chien-Ming Wang has signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds with a spring training invitation. We last saw Wang getting shellacked in a July game for the Toronto Blue Jays, in which he couldn’t escape the second inning after allowing six runs on eight hits…
- Grant Balfour’s deal with Orioles in “serious jeopardy” due to shoulder issue 10
- Report: Rakuten will not allow Masahiro Tanaka come to the United States 62
- Mariners showing “continued interest” in Ervin Santana 10
- Happy Birthday, Ty Cobb! 89
- Dodgers re-sign left-handed reliever J.P. Howell to a two-year, $11.5 million contract 4