Dustin Pedroia and the Red Sox are discussing a contract extension

19 Comments

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that second baseman Dustin Pedroia and the Red Sox are discussing a contract extension “somewhere in the vicinity of” six years and $100 million. Pedroia, who turns 30 on August 17, has been one of the best second basemen in baseball this season and the Red Sox want to make sure they retain his services beyond 2015. His current contract includes a $10 million salary for 2014 and an $11 million club option with a $500,000 buyout for 2015. Passan writes that whether the extension would usurp those two years of his current contract remains a point of negotiation.

More from Passan:

After tabling discussions on an extension during spring training, the Red Sox and Pedroia’s representatives picked up talks during the All-Star break, sources said. They’re expected to continue discussions as the Red Sox look to bolster their pitching staff via trades for a run at winning the American League East, which they lead over the Rays by 2½ games.

Pedroia has been worth 4.7 wins above a replacement-level player according to Baseball Reference, nearly matching his output for all of 2012 (4.9). Over 162 games, he is on pace for 7.8, which would nearly match his 2011 output when he finished in the top-ten in AL MVP voting. There is some concern, however, about Pedroia’s lack of power — he has hit only six home runs and his current .436 slugging percentage would be a career low.

James Paxton will “nerd out big-time” to stay healthy next year

Getty Images
Leave a comment

To the surprise of, well, very few, the Mariners didn’t make the cut for the postseason this year. While they threw their hats in the ring for a wild card berth, their pitching staff just couldn’t stay healthy, from the handful of pitchers who contracted season-ending injuries in spring training to Felix Hernandez‘s shoulder bursitis to structural damage in Hisashi Iwakuma‘s right shoulder. Left-hander James Paxton missed 79 days with a lingering head cold, strained left forearm and pectoral strain. Heading into the 2018 season, the lefty told MLB.com’s Greg Johns that he plans to “nerd out big-time” in order to prepare for a healthy, consistent run with the club.

So far, Johns reports, that entails a new diet and workout program, hot yoga sessions and blood testing. “I just think there’s more I can do,” Paxton said. “I haven’t done the blood testing before. Finding out if there’s something I don’t know about myself. It’s just about learning and trying to find what works for me.”

When healthy, the 28-year-old southpaw was lights-out for the Mariners. He helped stabilize the front end of the rotation with a 12-5 record in 24 starts and supplemented his efforts with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 136 innings. Despite taking multiple trips to the disabled list, he built up 4.6 fWAR — the most wins above replacement he’s compiled in any season of his career to date. Had he not been felled by a pectoral injury in mid-August — one that came with a five-week trip to the disabled list — the club might have been been able to make a bigger push for the playoffs.

Of course, even if Paxton manages to stay healthy next season, the Mariners still have the rest of the rotation to worry about. They cycled through 17 starters in 2017 and tied the 2014 Rangers with 40 total pitchers over the course of the season. Per GM Jerry Dipoto, their top four starters (Paxton, Hernandez, Iwakuma, and Tommy John candidate Drew Smyly) only contributed 17% of total innings pitched, just a tad below the 40% average. Finding adequate big league arms and compensating for injured aces (both current and former) will be tough. Still, getting a healthy, dominant Paxton back on the mound for 30+ starts would be a huge get for the team — whether or not the postseason is in their future next year.