Dustin Pedroia: Jacoby Ellsbury ‘Played His Butt Off’ For Boston Red Sox

Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby EllsburyDustin Pedroia isn’t holding a grudge against Jacoby Ellsbury despite the outfielder joining the New York Yankees this offseason.

Pedroia, who won two World Series titles alongside Ellsbury with the Boston Red Sox, told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford on a podcast Monday that he’s happy for his former teammate. Ellsbury inked a seven-year, $153 million contract with the Yankees earlier this winter, and, as Pedroia pointed out, big contracts and breakups simply are part of today’s business of baseball.

“He got an offer he couldn’t refuse. I don’t think anyone would fault him for going where he went and that’s that,” Pedroia said Monday. “I’m happy for him. That guy, he played his butt off for us. We won two championships together. Everything was great.”

Pedroia was drafted in the second round in 2004, while Ellsbury was selected 23rd overall in 2005. The two, in many ways, grew up together in the Red Sox’ farm system, with Pedroia making his major league debut in 2006 and Ellsbury debuting in 2007. Now, the duo will square off as part of one of sports’ biggest rivalries, although, according to Pedroia, their friendship remains very much intact.

“Once the season starts, I hope his team doesn’t win, that’€™s just how it goes,” Pedroia said. “We’€™re friends, we’€™re close just like all of my teammates. You’€™re in it together. You’€™re family, you go through the ups and downs, and then on the business side, you wish him the best.”

Pedroia signed an eight-year, $110 million contract in July that will keep him in Boston through the 2021 season. That means there’s plenty of time for he and Ellsbury to create more memories, even if they will do so in different uniforms.

Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.

Click here for Pedroia’s full WEEI podcast >>

Red Sox on Twitter

Yardbarker