Dustin Pedroia’s Contract Extension + Jake Peavy Trade Thoughts

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Sat. August.3/2013

While Shortstop has been a revolving door since the days of Nomar Garciaparra, Second Base has been held down by one of the best in the game since his rookie season in 2007. As impressive an offensive player as Pedroia is, he's equally impressive on defense, saving 73 Runs on at 2nd over his career. His UZR/150 is 9.4.

While Shortstop has been a revolving door since the days of Nomar Garciaparra, Second Base has been held down by one of the best in the game since his rookie season in 2007. As impressive an offensive player as Pedroia is, he’s equally impressive on defense, saving 73 Runs on at 2nd over his career. His UZR/150 is 9.4.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent): 

I think that one could refer to this time of the baseball season as the “dog days” of the summer.

While much is made of how a team finishes the regular season down the stretch in September, every game counts and August could definitely separate contenders from pretenders.

After ceding 1st place in the AL East briefly, the Red Sox are back where they want to be at the top.

The lead is just 1 game over the Rays currently, but the Red Sox are playing some very exciting baseball including two straight walkoff wins both technically taking place on the 1st of August.

While late July baseball news is usually dominated by trades, the Red Sox took care of some other business before getting involved in the trade scene.

The club signed Second Baseman Dustin Pedroia to a 7 Year $100 Million contract extension.

The deal will take him through the 2021 season, making it increasingly likely that he spends his entire career in a Red Sox uniform.

"Pedey" "The Laser Show" "Muddy Chicken" Whatever you want to call him, Dustin Pedroia is as good as they come. If you measure how well a player plays by the dirt on his uniform, then he will almost always be #1. He's a fan favorite because everyone can tell how much the game means to him by the way he plays. He alone is worth the price of admission to a Red Sox game.

“Pedey” “The Laser Show” “Muddy Chicken” Whatever you want to call him, Dustin Pedroia is as good as they come. If you measure how well a player plays by the dirt on his uniform, then he will almost always be #1. He’s a fan favorite because everyone can tell how much the game means to him by the way he plays. He alone is worth the price of admission to a Red Sox game.

On the topic of his contract extension, Pedroia said, “The Red Sox drafted me and a lot of teams passed on me because of my size and stuff like that. It’s pretty important.

That’s why I want to work as hard as I can to make sure that they made the choice in drafting me and me being here my whole career.”

Some people have said that it is a lot of money to give to a soon to be 30 year old, considering the deal will take him to his 38th birthday.

Maybe they are right, but if there is a guy in the MLB I personally would be willing to overspend on, it is a player like Pedroia. (However, I do NOT agree with the notion he was overpaid at all)

If you gave me a team full of Dustin Pedroias I would be ecstatic. If you are at all worried that the deal might come back to haunt the Red Sox, don’t be. He’s the laser show, relax.

Now while there are some people who say the deal was a little rich for their taste, others say he took a hometown discount. I couldn’t accurately put a dollar figure on his worth, but I really like the deal. I think it suits both Pedroia and the team well.

Pedroia has been incredibly valuable to the Boston Red Sox organization on the field and off the field/in the club house.

On the field Pedroia has put up fantastic numbers since he broke into the league and won Rookie of the Year in 2007 (This does exclude his brief 31 game stint in 2006).

As if winning Rookie of the Year and a World Series Championship wasn’t enough, he won the AL MVP, Gold Glove, and Silver Slugger Award in 2008.

He has a career slash line of .301/.369/.455, while amassing a WAR of 32.2 so far the Red Sox.

Dustin Pedroia is the heart and soul of the Red Sox who leads by example.

He plays through injury, is an asset on offense, defense, and even on the basepaths (has 20+ SB 4 times in his career and could make it 5 this season) while hitting anywhere in the order the manager has asked him to.

It is fair to question the money the Red Sox have thrown at players in recent years, but this is not one of those situations.

I think I speak for the vast majority of Red Sox Nation when I say I am beyond excited that the Red Sox locked up Dustin Pedroia seemingly for good.

The Red Sox didn't wait to make a waiver wire deal this year, they got it done by the deadline and made perhaps the biggest addition in baseball even though they have the 2nd best winning% only .001 behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Red Sox didn’t wait to make a waiver wire deal this year, they got it done by the deadline and made perhaps the biggest addition in baseball even though they have the 2nd best winning% only .001 behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Now on to part two of this article. I wanted to throw my opinion in the ring on the Jake Peavy trade.

To review, the Red Sox acquired RHP Jake Peavy and RHP Brayan Villarreal, while giving up SS Jose Iglesias and prospects RHP Francellis Montas, RHP Jeffrey Wendelken, and INF Cleuluis Rondon.

Iglesias went to Detroit while the prospects went to Chicago (White Sox). Chicago also received OF Avisail Garcia from Detroit.

The key for Detroit was getting Iglesias to replace Jhonny Peralta who faces a possible suspension in the Biogenesis case.

Chicago sheds Peavy’s salary and gets a young starting Outfielder for the future in Garcia. Boston adds depth to their rotation by adding Peavy.

On the surface is seems simple, but there are a lot of implications for the Red Sox with this trade. While firming up their Starting Rotation depth, they indirectly (and directly) helped out their bullpen.

Villarreal has shown the ability to be a good Major League reliever and won’t become a free agent until 2018 so don’t let the acquisition go lost in the trade.

Also with Peavy taking a Starting spot it will allow Brandon Workman to go to the bullpen, and if/when Clay Buchholz comes back it will allow the Red Sox to put another starter in the pen.

That guy could possibly be Ryan Dempster who has experience out of the bullpen, even as a closer.

I wonder what fans harping on the lack of closing options the team has would think of Dempster doing it.

Dempster saved 85 games for the Cubs from ’05-’07. Obviously Koji Uehara is the closer unless a problem arises.

Villarreal has struggled so far in 2013, but in 2012 out of the pen for the Tigers he had a 2.63 ERA in 50 games. He had 66 Ks in 54.2 IP.

Villarreal has struggled so far in 2013, but in 2012 out of the pen for the Tigers he had a 2.63 ERA in 50 games. He had 66 Ks in 54.2 IP.

Regardless of how the Red Sox go about it, they acquired two Major League caliber arms without giving up any, which will increase their pitching depth.

As for Peavy, my major concern is probably the same as most fans as I ask the question, can he stay healthy? From ’09 -’11 he finished the seasons with 101.2, 107, and 111.2 IP respectively. He is only up to 80 IP so far this year.

The Red Sox had to have done their due diligence on Peavy’s medical reports, but injuries can’t necessarily be predicted anyway. The team already has one top pitcher (Buchholz) on the shelf so you would think Peavy checked out medically.

If he can stay on the field for the next 1.5 years of his current contract, I believe he is still a frontline starter, not the middle of the rotation guy some people suggest he has become.

He is not the dominant Cy Young caliber pitcher he was in ’07 with San Diego, but in 2012 he threw 219 IP with 4 CG, 194 Ks, and an ERA of 3.37 in the American League.

It wasn’t the AL East which his numbers aren’t all that impressive against, but it’s still the AL.

Hoping that Buchholz comes back I would slot him in the #1 Starter slot if the Red Sox were to make the playoffs and he was back near full strength. After that I wouldn’t be surprised if Peavy earns the 2nd spot, or possibly 3rd behind Lackey.

I have to figure Lester is still in the group of 4 playoff starters, but who knows with the inconsistency he’s shown over the past 2 seasons.

Will Peavy be what wins the Red Sox a World Series? I don’t know, but he can definitely still pitch. However, the main piece in the deal used to get him, Jose Iglesias, could have also been a factor in a Sox playoff run.

Do I think with all things considered this was a good deal? Maybe it will prove to be, but I can’t say that I do right now. I wouldn’t have made this trade, but then again, I am not the GM of the Red Sox, so take my opinion for what it’s worth.

As I have mentioned many times, I am probably higher on Jose Iglesias as an all-around baseball player than anyone else is. I think he is the best defensive Shortstop in the game.

A lot of baseball analysts said the Red Sox sold high on his offense. He certainly had an improbably good start to the season, but I think he could be the .300+ hitter he has been this year.

If you have heard me mention Jose Iglesias before you will probably know he is one of my favorite players in baseball. He was a lot of fun to watch in Boston, and unfortunately he won't be playing in Boston near enough anymore. Detroit got a very good young player to help their weak defense.

If you have heard me mention Jose Iglesias before you will probably know he is one of my favorite players in baseball. He was a lot of fun to watch in Boston, and unfortunately he won’t be playing in Boston near enough anymore. Detroit got a very good young player to help their weak defense.

My biggest problem with dealing Iglesias is he won’t become a free agent until 2019. He could have been a cost controlled, defensive wiz/solid offensive producer for the Red Sox for years, but now the Tigers have him.

Maybe my not wanting this trade is due to my focusing of the future too much because this is clearly a move to improve in the present.

The trade could hurt the club in the present as it takes away an option in the left side of the infield. This could spell a Will Middlebrooks return or Xander Bogaerts debut soon.

While I wouldn’t have made the deal, if there was one starting pitcher on the market I would have wanted, it would have been Peavy.

I trust him as much or more than Matt Garza or Cliff Lee to get the job done. I think the Rangers gave up too much for Garza and he is just a 1 year rental (also with health concerns).

Cliff Lee has roughly $70 Million left on his contract and rumor had it the Phillies were asking for an insane return starting with Xander Bogaerts or Jackie Bradley Jr. Lee is also nearly 3 years the elder of Peavy. With a longer, more expensive contract, you are a lot less likely to get as much bang for your buck out of Lee.

Anyway, Peavy is under contract for this year and next with roughly $20 Million left on his deal. It is a shorter commitment which fits in with the new mold of the team after the blockbuster salary dump with the Dodgers.

Also it gives them a valuable commodity for this offseason if they want to move him, or perhaps it makes Dempster or Lester movable.

Also there is a possibility he nets them a draft pick after next year if they make him a qualifying offer and he signs elsewhere, but that is a decent sized “if” right now.

To touch on the prospects the Red Sox sent away in the deal, Montas was probably seen as the best. He was rated 36th in their system by SoxProspects.com prior to the deal and neither Wendelken nor Rondon was in the top 60.

All were low-level, raw prospects. I wouldn’t be surprised if none make it to the big leagues, although you never know.

If you look at low-level “high risk” prospects given away by the Red Sox in deals recently they have been pretty good with not giving away guys that are future impactful major leaguers.

In summation, I like the Pedroia extension a lot, and the Peavy trade a lot less. That is not a knock on Peavy, but rather a belief that Iglesias will be very good for years to come.

I may be wrong, only time will tell. I guess Bogaerts is the future at Shortstop now, rather than there being any potential for a position change.

With Iglesias a Detroit Tiger, Xander Bogaerts may have an opportunity to prove his incredible talent at the Major League level sooner rather than later. It only took him 79 games to prove he was too good for AA, and just 45 games into his AAA career he's already tearing it up. He's hitting .285/.382/.485 with 8 HRs and 24 RBI.

With Iglesias a Detroit Tiger, Xander Bogaerts may have an opportunity to prove his incredible talent at the Major League level sooner rather than later. It only took him 79 games to prove he was too good for AA, and just 45 games into his AAA career he’s already tearing it up. He’s hitting .285/.382/.485 with 8 HRs and 24 RBI.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A big thank-you goes out to our baseball writer Ryan Dana for preparing today’s featured article.  Ryan is senior studying physical education with a concentration in coaching at Bridgewater State University.

He has been playing baseball since he was 7 and coaching since he was 14. Ryan wants to be a college baseball coach once he graduates. 

Ryan is, and always will be, a diehard Boston Red Sox fan. Secondary to baseball, he is a big health and fitness enthusiast. You can find Ryan on Twitter .

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Posted on August 3, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Dustin Pedroia’s Contract Extension + Jake Peavy Trade Thoughts.

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