Dustin Pedroia signed an eight-year lifetime contract with the Red Sox this week.
If you thought the Red Sox would be gunshy for a long-term multi-million dollar contract after Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Josh Beckett, you may have found the signing of Dustin Pedroia a return to past addictions.
After divesting themselves of bad contracts, the Red Sox insisted that signing Pedroia through 2021 was good business sense. They noted that Dustin would be a lifer for the Sox.
In an age when lifers like Paul Pierce are sent packing, this seems a bit arrogant. By the time 2020 rolls around, there will be a groundswell of nasty-minded fans who will claim that Pedroia’s best years were behind him, that he had lost a step in his game, and that his glory days were over.
You can count on it. Paul Pierce never thought it would happen, but it’s a business. Dustin Pedroia will have a gaggle of Sox fans demanding that they trade him while he still has value.
History often repeats itself. Indeed, we see the writing on the contract. Pedroia was smarter than Pierce. According to reports, Dustin insisted on a no-trade contact. Pierce wishes now that he had made the same proviso.
Millions of dollars is small consolation when you want to grow old in your familiar haunt. Note how unhappy Paul Pierce seemed when he gave his Brooklyn Net press conference. The money was not as important as the loyalty to one place.
Yet, there were many who wanted Pierce shipped out of town. Pedroia may have more self-determination, but when the fans call for his head, he may acquiesce to the mounting cacophony.
Lifetime contracts are not what they used to be.