Pedroia agrees to extension through 2021
Four-time All-Star thrilled with prospect of spending entire career in Boston
BOSTON -- A day after coming to an agreement, the Red Sox announced Wednesday that they've signed Dustin Pedroia to a contract extension through 2021.
Although the financial security of the $110 million extension is nice, Pedroia made it clear that his motivation in signing is to make sure he never plays a Major League game for any team other than the Red Sox.
"It's not official or anything, but this is my home." Pedroia said Tuesday, when the deal was pending a physical. "I love being here, I love my teammates, love this city. If it becomes that, I'll be pretty excited.
"That's really important. The Red Sox drafted me. 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 make sure I work as hard as I can to make sure that they made the right choice in drafting me and me being here my whole career."
Pedroia admitted how exciting the likelihood is that he will be with the Red Sox through at least 2021.
Pedroia, 29, was in the fourth year of a six-year deal that included an $11 million team option for 2015. His new pact will begin with the '14 season.
"I just want to make sure I'm playing my last game here. That's important," he said. "It's the only thing I know. I love putting on the Red Sox uniform every day. Every game is important to me and my teammates. It's pretty special."
In this day and age, it is rare for star players -- or any players for that matter -- to spend an entire career with one team. But Pedroia and the Red Sox have always had a unique relationship.
Pedroia loves all that playing baseball in Boston entails, and the Red Sox fully appreciate a player who embodies everything they want their franchise to represent.
"As far as the contract, I know there's conversations going on. I don't know that anything is official yet," said manager John Farrell. "What Dustin means to this team is the example he demonstrates every day, whether it's his early work, the way he competes inside a game. He sets the tone for us. He embodies everything that we value as far as a player -- the respect to the game that he has and the effort he puts forth every night."
Fresh off making his fourth All-Star appearance last week, Pedroia is hitting .308 with six home runs, 57 RBIs and 13 stolen bases while appearing in an American League-best 100 games.
His consistent production during his eight seasons with the Red Sox has included his winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 2007 and being named AL MVP one year later. He led the AL in hits, runs scored and doubles in his MVP season and also led the league in runs scored in 2009.
Overall, he is a .303 lifetime hitter with 96 home runs, 466 RBIs and 115 stolen bases.
Although there can sometimes be concern about a player letting down his guard after signing a long-term extension, it's hard to fathom that ever being an issue with Pedroia.
"Not at all," Pedroia said. "You guys have all seen me since I had a little bit more hair. I think I'll play the same way I do for every game I play to the end. That's about it."
Perhaps the Red Sox will one day make Pedroia their captain, a role Jason Varitek filled from 2005 through his retirement after the '11 season.
But titles have never meant much to Pedroia.
"It's not going to change who I am or my role with the team," he said. "My job is still to go out there and to try to help us win a game every day. I try to do all I can to make that happen."
The importance of wearing the Boston uniform is something Pedroia can't emphasize enough.
"Yeah, it's really important to me. I'm a pretty loyal guy. I love being here," he said. "I live and die by this team. It's important to me to be here my whole time."