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Red Sox make Dustin Pedroia baseball's highest-paid second baseman

Posted by Staff  July 24, 2013 03:59 PM

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Dustin Pedroia is the highest-paid second baseman in baseball.

The Red Sox announced an eight-year extension for Pedroia on Wednesday. The deal takes Pedroia through the 2021 season, when he will be 38.

"If we're going to bet on someone at 37 or 38 years old, we're not sure there's a better guy to bet on," said general manager Ben Cherington.

The deal is worth $110 million, per a source, and includes some trade protection – although not a full no-trade clause.

Pedroia joins Manny Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford as Red Sox players to receive $100 million-plus deals.

“This contract does represent an exception for us,” Cherington said. “As we told Dustin in spring training, he’s absolutely the right person to make an exception for.”

According to a source, the structure of the deal is as follows:

$1 million signing bonus
2014: $12.5 million
2015: $12.5 million
2016: $13 million
2017: $15 million
2018: $16 million
2019: $15 million
2020: $13 million
2021: $12 million

Pedroia's said the deal was a "no-brainer" and never considered testing the market.

"I'm not here to set markets," Pedroia said. "I'm here to win more games than the other second basemen."

The deal is on a bell curve, meaning the salary becomes manageable for a player who will be older and theoretically less productive toward the end.

"This place is the only place I've known since I started playing professional baseball," said Pedroia, who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2004. "It's my home. I love every part of being a Red Sox."

The deal was announced at Fenway Park, about four hours before the AL East-leading Sox face the Rays in the third of a four-game series.

A blue table was set up in the middle of the field, where Cherington, Pedroia and manager John Farrell addressed the media – and select fans who filtered into the park.

A group of people in the 100 level chanted, "Dust-in! Dust-in!" as Pedroia took his seat.

Pedroia's wife and two sons sat to the side. Pedroia's oldest, son, Dylan, played around in the dirt and had dirty pants by the end of the conference – just like his father, who is known for his athletic, diving plays at second base.

"Always in my heart, I always thought I'd play every game for the Red Sox," Pedroia said. "So just being here right now, and this happening, it's a great feeling."

Most of the Sox players sat in the dugout and watched. Toward the end, designated hitter David Ortiz walked to the infield and picked up the second base. He brought it over to Pedroia, interrupting Pedroia mid-sentence.

Ortiz then stole the mic and glanced at Cherington.

"By the way, you got the time wrong buddy," Ortiz said. "When we play a night game, this [guy] is here by noon."

Globe reporter Peter Abraham contributed to this report.

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