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.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.