If the Red Sox thought the contract extension they gave Dustin Pedroia would keep him in Boston for the rest of his career, they may have actually underestimated the tenacity that made the diminutive second baseman a star.
"I don't know if I'll be done by then, man. I feel good, dude," he said after signing an eight-year, $110 million contract extension that would keep him in a Red Sox uniform until the age of 38. "Maybe I haven't had my growth spurt, and I'll get taller."
A 5-foot-8, 165-pound infielder who was the AL Rookie of the Year in 2007, when the Red Sox won their second World Series in four seasons, and MVP the next year, Pedroia has grown into his role as a team leader.
Pedroia is batting .306 this season with 25 doubles, six home runs and 58 RBIs. In his seven-year career — all with the Red Sox — he has a .303 batting average and an on-base percentage of .371.
The deal eliminates one uncertainty for a team that could see center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury become a free agent after the season. Of the position players on the 2007 championship team, only Pedroia, Ellsbury and Ortiz remain.