By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
In a move that has been expected for a few weeks, former Red Sox second baseman and unofficial captain Dustin Pedroia announced his retirement on Monday.
A second-round pick as a shortstop in 2004, Pedroia transitioned to second base and became a franchise cornerstone of the Red Sox for nearly two decades. He was a part of three World Series teams and won an AL MVP award, rookie of the year, four Gold Gloves, and a Silver Slugger.
The final few years of his career saw Pedroia spend most of his time on the IL as he dealt with chronic wrist and knee injuries. The 37-year-old hadn’t played in a Major League game since April of 2019.
Pedroia retires having played 1,512 games over 17 seasons, all with the Boston Red Sox. He was a .299 career hitter, with 1,805 hits, 140 home runs, 725 RBIs, and 922 runs scored. Most of his offensive numbers are top-10 in Red Sox franchise history.
Following the announcement, the Red Sox top executives all released statements. Pedroia himself is expected to speak with the media at 1:30 p.m.
John Henry, Tom Werner and Sam Kennedy on Dustin Pedroia: pic.twitter.com/5GR8CSzZOT— Lauren Campbell (@lalalalaurrrren) February 1, 2021
In 2014, the Red Sox signed Pedroia to an eight-year, $110 million contract extension. According to reports, the final year of that contract will be paid in full in 2021, totaling just over $12 million. That allows the Red Sox to avoid deferred payments, Bobby Bonilla-style.
Since the retirement of David Ortiz in 2016, Pedroia had been the longest-tenured member of the Red Sox, and the last everyday member of the 2013 championship team still on the roster (Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. both played less than 40 games that season).
With Pedroia gone, Bradley technically becomes the longest-tenured member of the team. However, he is an unrestricted free agent and it’s unlikely he’ll be brought back, meaning Xander Bogaerts is in line to be the most tenured member of the roster come Opening Day.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com.