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Dustin Pedroia on possible extension: ‘I want to be a Red Sox my whole career’

12.28.12 at 10:02 am ET
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Dustin Pedroia

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, in an appearance on WEEI’s Red Sox Hot Stove show on Thursday night, said that as far as he knows, the team has not talked with his agents, Seth and Sam Levinson of ACES, about a possible extension this offseason. However, he was aware of reports that the Sox would like to talk this offseason about the possibility of an extension to his six-year, $40.5 million deal that runs through 2014 (with an $11 million option for 2015).

“I don’t think [extension talks are as of yet] anywhere. I haven’t talked to my agents that much,” said Pedroia. “I saw [the report that the Sox would like to discuss an extension]. That definitely, it made me smile. Obviously, I want to be a Red Sox my whole career and play in that city, turn this whole thing around to get back to where we were my first couple years there. I’m going to leave that up to [GM Ben Cherington] and everybody else, and my agents. I try to stay out of it. I think the Red Sox know I’m an emotional guy. My agent definitely does. I try to let them do their job and me, stick to being a psycho on the baseball field.”

Pedroia characterized the 2012 season, when the Sox went 69-93, as a “horrible year,” and acknowledged that, at times — particularly after the Red Sox’ trade of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto — he wondered whether he remained in the team’s future plans, and if he truly did want to be a Red Sox for his career. But, in the end, he realized that he does want to be at the heart of the restoration of the franchise to contender status, and that he believes he is positioned in both talent and commitment to do so.

“During the season, there’s so many things tugging in different directions. You try to put the blinders on and go play ball. After the trade, where we sent Carl, Josh, Nick and Adrian to the Dodgers, it was one of those things where you kind of sit down, look and see – you don’t know which direction everything is headed,” said Pedroia. “You don’t know if you’re going to be a part of it or if you’re not going to be a part of it. In the back of my mind, I was thinking that.

“But I’m still a young guy. I’m just entering the prime of my career. I’m going to be great for a long time. Hopefully the Red Sox see that and understand that. I’m going to show up and play every single day as hard as I can and try to win baseball games. That was the only mentality I had. This last year, a lot of things went on. I learned so much that’s going to make me better, and it will make our team better, because I think a lot of guys learned. We want to do it right. We did that for a while. It kind of slipped away from us. So, we’re going to get back on track.”

This offseason has seen a couple of franchise cornerstones sign long-term extensions with the only clubs for whom they have played. Evan Longoria of the Rays signed a six-year, $100 million extension that also guaranteed three option years in his original deal. Meanwhile, David Wright signed a deal with the Mets that guarantees him $138 million over the next eight years.

Asked about similarities between his situation and that of other players who have signed long-term deals (for more on the comparison of Pedroia and Longoria, click here), Pedroia said that he’d given the matter no thought. Indeed, he suggested that he’s given little consideration to his earnings, aside from being astounded by what he was making when he received paychecks for the rookie minimum at the start of his career.

“I’m not good at framework for contracts, what that guy’s making, what this guy’s making,” said Pedroia. “I don’t really look at all that stuff. I understand it’s a business. I know how some of this stuff works. But I love playing baseball. I don’t even do it as a job. I let my agents and the team, all those guys who are educated in that stuff, take care of the rest.

“To be honest with you, man, I’ve looked at one paycheck my whole career. My rookie year, when I was making the league minimum, I looked at it, I looked at my wife, and I was like, ‘I’m getting paid this much money?’ I basically said, ‘I’ll play for free. It doesn’t matter.’ ”

To listen to the complete interview, click here. A few additional highlights to note:

  • Pedroia said that his broken pinkie, which required the surgical insertion of a pin after the season, is fine, as are the thumb injuries that hampered him during the season. “My thumb’s healed up. It’s good. My pinkie’s fine. I just kind of had some freak deals happen to me last year. It was tough at the time getting through it, but I learned a lot about myself last year,” he said.
  • On his decision to play at the end of the season despite the fractured pinkie, and the tone he wanted to set at the end of 2012: “I feel I have a responsibility to be out there and play. We’re baseball players. We get paid a lot of money to go out there and play for the fans to watch us. I feel like, I know we had a horrible year. It was one of those things, I wanted to get through it with all the guys together. We had a lot of tough times together. I didn’t want to miss those last couple games over a finger or anything. I wanted to make sure that I finished with everybody, let everybody know that I’m always going to be there for them if I’m hurt, if I’m struggling or anything. It’s a team game. Everyone needs to pick each other up. When guys get hurt, other guys need to pick it up.”
  • On Joel Hanrahan: “He’s got great stuff. His fastball is electric. It kind of jumps on you. It’s kind of similar to [Jonathan Papelbon], where it has that extra gear at the end. … He’s got an exploding fastball. He’s going to get a lot of huge outs for us. We’re excited to have him.”
  • Pedroia also noted that shortstop Jose Iglesias was “upset” by the Sox’ signing of Stephen Drew, but the second baseman offered counsel based on his own playing career in trying to explain how the development could be a positive for Iglesias. For more on that, click here.
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