With the Red Sox hoping to make more headway with offseason acquisitions in the coming weeks, their 40-man roster as it pertains to Dustin Pedroia bears watching.
The four-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner didn’t play at all in 2020 due to his problematic left knee, and he isn’t expected to make another comeback. Pedroia has played just nine games since the end of the ’17 season.
However, Pedroia has one season and $12 million left on his contract.
Unlike in the past few regular seasons, when the Red Sox have been able to keep him on the 60-day injured list, that is not permitted during the offseason.
In other words, Pedroia is taking up a spot on the 40-man roster that the Red Sox could well need as chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom adds to his 2021 team.
Boston’s 40-man roster will be full once lefty Martín Pérez passes his physical and signs his new one-year contract that includes a club option for 2022.
To make room for Pérez on the roster, the Sox on Monday had to trade their No. 14 prospect C.J. Chatham, an infielder, to the Phillies for a player to be named or cash considerations.
To remedy the potential log-jam, the Red Sox and Pedroia could work out some sort of parting settlement in the coming weeks. The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham tweeted that a resolution could come this month.
Given Pedroia’s importance to the franchise, the Red Sox have been giving him the latitude to try to decide how he wants the situation to play out.
Pedroia could join the Red Sox as a consultant or instructor. If he wants to be affiliated with the club, the Red Sox will find a spot for him.
While Pedroia definitely has the leadership, knowledge and passion to be a coach or manager at some point, the general expectation is that he will spend most of his time with his wife and sons in Arizona in the coming years as he continues to distance himself from his playing career.
In fact, that is what Pedroia has mostly done since May 2019, when yet another comeback attempt had to be aborted due to recurring knee pain.
Pedroia had planned on coming to Spring Training in 2020, but he suffered a setback the month before camp opened and has basically been idle ever since.
The 37-year-old was drafted by the Red Sox in 2004 with the 65th overall pick. In 1,512 career games, Pedroia slashed .299/.365/.439 with 922 runs, 1,805 hits, 140 homers and 725 RBIs.
He was the American League Rookie of the Year in 2007 and won the AL MVP the following year.
Pedroia was a central figure on World Series championship teams in 2007 and ’13 and got a third ring in ’18, though his main role that season was as a mentor and unofficial assistant coach.