Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox reportedly talking record contract extension

Stephen Dunn

The Red Sox are trying to lock up their All-Star second baseman with a record deal.

Dustin Pedroia and the Boston Red Sox are discussing an extension that could make him the highest paid second baseman in the game, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.

Pedroia's current deal will pay him $10 million next season and includes a team option for 2015 at $11 million, but Passan's sources say that both sides are highly motivated to reach a new deal which could pay the 2008 AL MVP something in the range of $20 million. There is no agreement yet on the specific dollar amount or the number years, Passan notes, but the six year, $100 million deal that the Rays gave third baseman Evan Longoria appears to be the model for these talks.

Pedroia is enjoying another stellar season for the Red Sox, hitting .316/.396/.436 over 432 plate appearances and leading American League second baseman in batting average, on-base percentage, hits and runs. His defense at second base is among the best in the game as well. Since he landed in the majors in 2006, Ultimate Zone Rating credits him with just under 60 runs saved on defense, the highest number of runs saved by any American League second baseman and the third highest total overall behind Chase Utley and Brandon Phillips.

The Red Sox may be motivated to reach a deal with Pedroia before the season ends to avoid competing with the contract Robinson Cano signs as free agent this offseason. Cano and Pedroia are very different types of players, but their overall value has been very similar. Fangraph's version of wins above replacement credits Cano with 35.2 WAR in his career and Pedroia with 32.5.

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