Posted on November 12, 2019, by Bryan Zarpentine
Having played just nine major league games over the past two seasons, Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia’s career is very much in jeopardy because of chronic knee problems. When he last spoke publicly, there was subtext that Pedroia was ready to call it a career. However, new Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told media members Monday that he’s expecting Pedroia to give it a go in 2020 and do his best to get back on the field and contribute.
“Every indication I’ve gotten is that he’s feeling good and intending on playing,” Bloom said of Pedroia during the GM Meetings. “Hopefully we’ll get to see him before we head out. I know he’s working pretty hard to make sure he’s in as good a shape as possible.”
Pedroia required cartilage restoration surgery in his left knee after the 2017 season, and it’s been a long and frustrating road back for him ever since. He needed scar tissue removed in July 2018 and underwent another surgery on his knee this past August. Pedroia has been understandably unhappy with the continued knee problems. But after taking a little time away from his rehab, Pedroia appears to be more willing to give his career at least one more shot.
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“I think just perhaps how he feels about things has changed since [last speaking publicly,” says Red Sox GM Brian O’Halloran. “He was pretty raw at that point. He’s been working out and doing well by his own account. We’re going to talk to him and learn more. I don’t think that anything specifically changed. I think it’s more that time has passed and he’s been feeling better.”
Of course, Bloom says he doesn’t have an updated medical report on Pedroia. It remains unclear how healthy he is and what he’ll physically be able to handle over the course of a season. However, Pedroia is reportedly been working out and trying to get himself in shape so that he can play in 2020.
Perhaps more importantly, the Red Sox have plenty of room at second base if Pedroia is able to prove he can play on a regular basis. At the moment, Michael Chavis and Marco Hernandez are penciled in to handle the second base duties for Boston next year. The Red Sox don’t appear like they’ll be big spenders this winter, so signing a full-time second baseman is unlikely. That leaves the door open for Pedroia to at least be part of a timeshare at second base with Chavis and Hernandez next season.
“I would never think of it as a problem to have Dustin Pedroia on our 40-man roster and be concerned about planning around him,” said O’Halloran. “So it’s good to have him on our roster and hopefully, he continues to progress and is in the mix.”
Obviously, only time will tell if Pedroia can put two years of surgeries and rehab behind him and play a meaningful role for the Red Sox in 2020. But he appears willing to try and has two years and $25 million left on his contract. The Red Sox have nothing to lose by giving him a shot if Pedroia is willing to take it.