At the beginning of the 2019 baseball season, there was a lot of storylines following the Boston Red Sox. Obviously, the first one was that they had just come off an amazing season where they won more regular season games in franchise history and ended up capping it off with a World Series title. Things looked pretty positive for the team, especially since most of the 2018 team was still intact. Joe Kelley and Craig Kimbrel being the two big losses. However, the biggest change to the roster was the addition of Red Sox veteran Dustin Pedroia.
After being severely injured in the 2017 season when his knee was slid into by then Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado, Pedroia missed the rest of the season and all but three games of the 2018 season. In the games he did play in the 2018 season, it was very clear that he was not physically the same player he had been in years past. This is a former Rookie of the Year and AL MVP after all. He also helped the Red Sox win the 2007 and 2013 World Series’. In 2018 though, he looked old and slow and like he didn’t have much baseball left in him.
In 2019, it was the same story. Pedroia ended up playing only six games at the beginning of the season before taking a leave of absence from the team in late May to reevaluate his future. When this announcement was made however, many fans believed that it was the end of the second baseman’s career and that he would be retiring. Instead, in his press conference he said that he would still like to play the game again eventually.
As the season progressed, a lot of fans kind of forgot about Pedroia. The team, despite having basically the same team as they did the year before, had too many problems to be worried about what the infielder was doing.
Now, the offseason in the lead up to the 2020 season has begun and the Red Sox have a lot of question marks surrounding it. The biggest one being what new Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom is going to do about the team’s cap space issues. One question that has been answered though is whether or not Dustin Pedroia will try to make another come back. The answer? He will be. Though Pedroia has learned to lessen his expectations for a return after failed attempts in 2018 and 2019, he has a determination to play again.
I know this will be an unpopular opinion because I know a lot of fans out there want to see him play again but I believe it’s time to retire. There is very little chance that he ends up being beneficial to the team. He also will cost them $13 million this year and 12 the next. For a team that is struggling with their cap hit, this is not a great situation. Of course, from his point of view, why would he walk away from that money? As it is, he made over $30 million already the last two seasons to play nine games.
At least if Pedroia is going to cost the team money over the next two seasons which is the rest of the life of his current contract, he could help the team out by not playing. By all means, bring him back in some capacity to help the younger players but I think is days on the field are up. He should be preserving what’s left of his knees so they actually work for the rest of his life instead of possibly doing even more damage while also costing his team in the long run.
~Mary Evers (@For_Evers_Young)