Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Scrappy" Pedroia Gets Extension

AL MVP Dustin Pedroia signs an extension for six years and 40.5 million with the Red Sox. The benefits for Pedroia is that he gets guaranteed big bucks. The payoff for the Red Sox is that if he trends upward, they get an extremely valuable player at a cheaper rate during his prime years. Pedroia's value isn't just with his numbers because let's be honest, he's similar to Pat Burrell with the bat. That's not a knock. Both are well above the average hitter. Burrell's OPS+ is 125 and Pedroia's OPS+ is 122 with an OPS+ of 100 being the average. His value is having Pat Burrell numbers as a second baseman. Now of course Pedroia is a very short man. He is also of the caucasion persuasion. Because of that, Pedroia will get the label of "gritty," "gutty," "grinder" and "scrappy." Those are nice terms for short, pasty baseball players who manage to have average success in the big leagues. David Eckstein gets those comparisons. Not only are those adjectives peppered from journalists in describing someone of Pedroia's proportions, but they top it off with a "he plays the game the right way." Whatever that means. I guess hitting moonshots and being really good isn't the "right way." Regardless, I thought I'd check out what the reader comments responded to the ESPN article on the Pedroia extension.

"This guy is the Red Sox Derek Jeter only for 1/3 the price!"

I get what he's saying, but at this time, Pedroia is a better player than Jeter.

"Funny how Pedroia gets less than $7 million per year and good ol' A-Rod is getting $28 million per year. Just goes to show what complete idiots the Yankees have running their organization. A-Rod hit 24 points lower, had 18 more HRs, and had 20 more RBI's. I'd take the Pedroia deal any day of the week over A-Rod's. $21 million difference??? Great deal for both Pedroia and the Red Sox."

Check out A Rod's stats. Rodriguez, despite a lower batting average, has a higher on base percentage and a much higher slugging percentage. He's one of the best players ever. Pedroia's deal might be better because Pedroia is younger, cheaper and valuable, but taking those away, Rodriguez is a much better player.

"You can't compare Pedroia to any player that has been in the league for 10+ years, whether it's ARod or Jeter or anyone else. I'm not trying to take anything away from Pedroia, he is a great player and the deal is great for the Red Sox, but he has only played 2 seasons. Not saying he won't continue playing like he is, but 2 years isn't enough to give the man the bank...yet."

A sane comment.

"Thats because he's a team player, and team win Championships, not A-Rod obviously, the fact that Pedroia signed a contract like shows he wants to win, and that all the individual awards are just a bonus! Only a NY fan would call Pedroias MVP a joke, he had that on lock all year, with his team on his back."

Not quite. Pedroia came on strong at the end of the year. But J.D. Drew carried the team in the first half and had much better offensive numbers than Pedroia. With Drew's position being a position of offense, he has no more value really than Pedroia. Certainly Drew is not a dime a dozen, but he is a very good baseball player. If the Red Sox had A Rod during their two World Series runs, he would not have prohibited them from winning a World Series. When Pedroia's contract runs up (and assuming his production trends upward), he'll be asking for the $100 million contract.

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