The deal was for six years. The money, $40.5 million. It was a solid contract for a rising young star and came at a relatively reasonable price for the position and the time period.
More than three season removed from earning both the award and the new contract, Pedroia only continues to watch his value rise.
With a Rod Carew-like approach at the plate and a defensive prowess most comparable with the likes of Roberto Alomar, Pedroia is viewed by many as setting the standard for second basemen around the league.
Pedroia's really got everything any coach would want in a middle infielder. He's quick, has great plate discipline and is one of the most passionate players in the entire league. That's why, even as other second baseman such as Brandon Phillips and Ian Kinsler cash in on their success, Pedroia knows his value will only continue to skyrocket.
On Monday, Phillips and Kinsler both came to terms with their respective teams on long-term deals that would pay them more than a king's ransom. Cincinnati is set to pay Phillips $72.5 million over six years, while Kinsler scores even bigger with a five-year extension worth more than $82 million, including 2012, to remain in Texas.
Both players definitely earned the big money contracts they received, but neither player even approaches the value to their respective teams that Pedroia has with the Red Sox.
Sure, Kinsler may boast more power than Pedey. He's hit 30 home runs twice (2009, 2011) but hasn't batted above .265 in any season that he's smacked 20 or more long balls. He may hit the ball farther than Pedroia, but Kinsler is still only a career .276 hitter compared to Pedroia's impressive .305 career average.
As for Phillips, he's best known for being spectacular with the leather. He has the hardware to show for it, matching Pedroia with a pair of Gold Glove awards (2010, 2011) in his career. His bat can be quite productive as well. Phillips has hit at least 17 home runs in each of the past six seasons and has driven in 75 RBIs or more in five of those seasons.
Since 2007 — Pedroia's first full season in the major leagues — Pedroia has produced the highest batting average of the group each year, and he's posted the highest OPS in every season except one (Kinsler in 2008).
So, fantasy baseball owners may jump at the chance to draft Kinsler or Phillips before Pedroia more often than not, but that's why it's fantasy. In reality, though, Pedroia offers more value to a franchise than either of those guys 100 out of 100 times.
Pedroia not only has the numbers on his side but also the credentials.
He's won the American League Rookie of the Year, something neither Phillips or Kinsler did in their first season. He followed that up with an MVP campaign in 2008 — again, neither player has even finished in the top five. And then, of course, there's the little matter of a World Series ring. Kinsler may have helped guide the Rangers to the World Series in consecutive season, but Pedroia actually won the championship with the Red Sox in 2007 and he has the bling to show for it.
So, while Kinsler and Phillips shower in their newfound fortune, Pedroia will quietly bide his time until it's his turn to swim in the riches.
With the apparent value increase on the position, as well as Pedroia being just 31 when his current contract expires, it's very likely the three-time All-Star will be raking in a nine-figure deal. And not a penny overvalued.
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