Dustin Pedroia was a team guy when he signed an extension with the Red Sox for eight years and $110 million this summer, and he’s a team guy again now that his former Yankees counterpart, Robinson Cano, has signed for two years and $130 million more in free agency.
There were no thoughts of how much Cano got or how much Pedroia didn’t get when the Sox second baseman was asked about the deal Friday.
“Couldn’t be happier for him and for us,” Pedroia said of Cano’s deal, according to Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. “We don’t have to face him 19 times a year.”
Cano had long been interested in testing the open market, and he was able to sign for a reported 10 years and $240 million with the Seattle Mariners on Friday after the Yankees balked at surpassing $200 million for the player who had become the heart of their offense.
Pedroia, on the other hand, quietly took care of his extension this summer, with the thought of free-agent dollars and playing anywhere but Boston left out of the picture.
Cano and Pedroia are comparable elite second basemen in terms of skill, but they’re markedly different when it comes to the type of players they are on their respective teams. Cano has always had raw talent, and he makes plays look effortless, whether it be his left-handed home run swat or tossing relays to first across his body. Pedroia, on the other hand, can most often be found in the dirt, whether he’s going to his knees while swinging for a pitch or diving to scoop grounders at second.
While Pedroia and Cano have also had comparable career stats, awards and accolades, Pedroia is distinct in that he’s considered the heart and soul of his team. Cano, while a likable teammate, has never been marked as a leader or icon in the same way, and there were questions whether he, even in his role as New York’s de facto contributor, would ever become an unquestioned Yankee in the class of Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera.
The head-to-head American League East debate has ended now that, as Pedroia noted, the Red Sox don’t have to worry about Cano’s bat anymore.