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The Red Sox are making progress in their efforts to sign Dustin Pedroia to a contract extension, according to multiple reports on Friday.
Pedroia is in the fourth year of a six-year, $40.5 million deal that carries a team option of $11 million for the Red Sox. Pedroia has provided consistent production both offensively and defensively during the course of the contract.
The news of a possible extension was first reported by WEEI.com and Yahoo! Sports.
Pedroia, who went 1-for-4 in Boston’s 4-2 win over the Yankees on Friday, didn’t think it was his place to characterize the state of the negotiations.
“I just leave my agent and the Red Sox to deal with that,” Pedroia said. “My job is to come in here, play baseball and try to help the Red Sox win games. I don’t have anything for you right now.”
The Red Sox and Pedroia’s lead agents — Seth and Sam Levinsohn — declined comment.
However, Pedroia again reiterated how much it would mean to him to stay in a Boston uniform for many more years, if not his entire career.
“That’s great to think about,” Pedroia said. “[Staying in one place is] hard to happen. This is all I know. These guys are my family. Everybody. If it got to that point, it would be great.”
At 29, the second baseman still seems to be coming into his own, as he entered play against the Yankees on Friday with a .396 on-base percentage, the highest of his career.
Speaking on WEEI on Thursday, Red Sox principal owner John Henry said the team is weary of giving out long-term deals, but would be more inclined to do so with players within the organization.
“You have to look at every situation, every player differently,” Henry said. “Dustin Pedroia, completely different player. Dustin would be different than going out into a free-agent market and signing someone.”
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Meanwhile, Pedroia will just keep trying to help the Red Sox stay in first place.
“I’m just focused on trying to help us win baseball games. That’s what I’m trying to do,” Pedroia said.
At a time when their bullpen depth is being tested, the Red Sox added two veteran right-handers via Minor League deals on Friday, both of whom had ties — either directly or indirectly — to the organization a decade ago.
Brandon Lyon spent part of the 2003 season as Boston’s closer. After that season, he was dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of the package that brought Curt Schilling to the Red Sox.
Jose Contreras was a highly sought-after free agent in the winter leading up to that ’03 season and the Red Sox battled mightily for his services, only to lose out to the Yankees. Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino was so frustrated at his team losing out on Contreras at the time that he referred to the Yankees as the “Evil Empire”.
Both pitchers, who are a long way from 2003, will report to Triple-A Pawtucket. The moves came on the same day the Red Sox learned they might be without reliever Andrew Bailey for the rest of the season.
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“Brandon pitched for [Red Sox manager] John [Farrell] last year in Toronto and signed with the Mets. Didn’t quite work out for him quite the way he wanted it to, so he became available,” said Sox general manager Ben Cherington. “Obviously he was here before. We felt it made sense to sign him and watch him pitch in Triple-A. He’s a guy who has a track record in the big leagues, a track record of getting good right-handed hitters out. He’s pitched here before. He’s pitched in big games.”
“In Contreras’ case, we watched him more recently,” Cherington said. “We knew he had an out coming up. We saw some good signs of how he was throwing the ball more recently in [Indianapolis], so we decided he was worth a shot. Both guys are going to be in Pawtucket for a while. We’ll see if an opportunity presents at some point. If it doesn’t at some point in August, then if we think there’s a better opportunity somewhere else, we’ll work with them on that. But they both have an opportunity to show us what they can do, and hopefully they come in and help us.”
Lyon pitched in 37 games for the Mets this season before being released earlier this month, going 2-2 with a 4.8 ERA. In 12 Major League seasons, Lyon is 42-47 with 79 saves and a 4.16 ERA.
The 41-year-old Contreras has pitched mainly in relief this season and that’s how he would be used if he eventually emerges in Boston. He last pitched in the Major Leagues on May 27, ending a seven-game stint with the Pirates that included a 9.00 ERA.
After being looked at by the Red Sox’s medical staff, right-hander Clay Buchholz resumed playing catch on Friday after a brief shutdown period over the All-Star break.
There was no MRI given to Buchholz, and the club continues to hope that the discomfort he has been feeling in his neck and the upper portion of his back shoulder subside in the near future.
General manager Ben Cherington mentioned that Buchholz could get a second opinion.
Buchholz last pitched for the Red Sox on June 8. He had been on the best run of his career, going 9-0 in his 12 starts.