BOSTON -- Last month, general manager Ben Cherington said it was only a matter of time before the Red Sox renewed talks that began last winter with Dustin Pedroia regarding a contract extension for the second baseman.
That time has come. No sense in waiting to see what kind of dollars new agent Jay-Z commands for his hottest baseball client, Robinson Cano, who is entering free agency after the season.
According to a major league source, the Red Sox made a formal offer to Pedroia and his New York-based agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, over the All-Star break in New York, where Pedroia coincidentally replaced Cano in the American League lineup after the Yankees second baseman was struck by a pitch.
Yahoo! Sports reported the deal could be in the $100 million range and average more than $20 million a year, which by annual average value would make Pedroia the second-highest-paid middle infielder in the game's history, eclipsing the $18.9 million per-year average Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter had in the 10-year, $189 million deal he signed in 2001. (Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was still playing shortstop when he signed a 10-year, $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers in 2000.) However, Cano is expected to seek more in both dollars and years than Pedroia.
Pedroia said after Boston's 4-2 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night that he had nothing to say about the status of the negotiations, although he embraced the idea of remaining with the Red Sox, the team that was derided in some circles for making the former Arizona State star its first pick of the 2004 draft (65th overall).
"This is all I know," said Pedroia, who will turn 30 on Aug 17. "These guys are my family. If it got to that point, it would be great."
Cherington wrote in an email that he had no comment.
On Thursday, Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry said there was no urgency to getting a deal done with Pedroia, who was the AL's rookie of the year in 2007 and the league MVP in 2008, and is playing at a similar elite level this season, posting a line of .316/.394/.434 (BA/OBP/SLG) while making just one error at second base.
Last month, Cherington talked about the club's desire to extend Pedroia, who has played in all but one of the team's first 98 games this season despite tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb on Opening Day while sliding headfirst into first base against the Yankees -- with a six-run lead.
"Speaking generally about Dustin, he's certainly a guy we think very highly of, and he's a huge part of the organization, not just this team. He represents a lot of what we're all about," Cherington said.
"It's our sincere hope he's here for a long time; that's all I can say. We've got a good enough relationship with Dustin and his representatives that those conversations will happen over time. At the right time, we'll just have to see down the road what comes of it."
Pedroia is being paid $10 million this season and has another $10 million owed him in 2014, the last year of the six-year, $40.5 million deal he signed after his MVP season. There is an $11 million club option in 2015, with a $500,000 buyout.