Hunter Renfroe drives in two runs, records 11th outfield assist as Red Sox hold on to top Yankees, 5-3

The Red Sox did not waste any time in getting an already-pumped up crowd into their game against the Yankees at a sold-out Fenway Park on Friday night.

Shortly after the team celebrated Dustin Pedroia’s career in an emotional pregame ceremony, a pair of back-to-back singles from Michael Chavis and Alex Verdugo to lead things off in the bottom of the first inning put the Sox in business against Yankees starter Domingo German.

Xander Bogaerts cleared the bases by ripping a two-run double to left-center field, while Hunter Renfroe drove him in on another run-scoring double to give Boston an early 3-0 lead.

Martin Perez, meanwhile, was making his 15th start of the season for the Sox on Friday, and he allowed the Yankees to come right back into this game despite being given an early cushion to work with.

New York tacked on three unearned runs off the veteran left-hander in their half of the second, with Bogaerts committing a costly fielding error that would later permit Clint Frazier to get his side on the board by drawing a bases-loaded walk and D.J. LeMahieu to even things up with a two-run single to right field.

As previously mentioned, Perez was not charged with either of those three tallies, though he only made it to the two-out mark of the fourth inning while giving up six hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts before his evening came to a close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 67 (44 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler did not factor into Friday’s decision, but did lower his ERA on the season to 4.09. His next start should come against the Royals back at Fenway Park on Wednesday.

While Perez did allow the Yankees to erase their three-run deficit, Renfroe struck again once more in the bottom of the third, this time plating J.D. Martinez from third base on a sacrifice fly that gave the Sox a 4-3 edge.

The hard-throwing outfielder also contributed to the cause a half inning later, as he gunned down the potential tying run in the form of Gio Urshela on a 94.7 mph dart to home plate for his league-leading 11th outfield assist of the year.

In relief of Perez, who got the hook from Sox manager Alex Cora shortly after that play, Hirokazu Sawamura got the first call out of the Boston bullpen, finished things in the fourth, and tossed a scoreless fifth inning as well.

From there, a pair of ex-Yankees right-handers took over, with Rule 5 pick Garrett Whitlock twirling two scoreless frames before Adam Ottavino punched out two in a 1-2-3 top of the eighth.

Christian Vazquez supplied a much-needed insurance run by scoring Renfroe from second on an RBI single in the bottom half of the frame to make it a 5-3 contest, and that set the stage for Matt Barnes in the ninth.

The Red Sox closer ran into some initial trouble, issuing back-to-back singles to the first two hitters he faced, but was able to settle in, fan Frazier for the first out, and get LeMahieu to ground into a game-sealing 6-4-3 double play to notch his 16th save of the season and preserve the 5-3 victory.

All in all, the Red Sox bullpen (Sawamura, Whitlock, Ottavino, Barnes) on Friday combined to pitch 5 1/3 shutout innings while scattering just three hits and one walk in addition to striking out a total of seven Yankees hitters.

With the win, the Sox snap a two-game skid and improve to 45-31 on the season, though they still trail the Rays by a half game for first place in the American League East.

Next up for the Red Sox, they will go for the series win over the Yankees on national television Saturday night.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will get the ball for Boston, while left-hander Jordan Montgomery will do the same for New York.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. eastern time on FOX.

(Picture of Hunter Renfroe: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Dustin Pedroia to be inducted into Red Sox Hall of Fame next year

Dustin Pedroia has been elected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame, the team announced prior to Friday’s game against the Yankees at Fenway Park. Pedroia will be included in the 2022 class.

Under normal circumstances, former Red Sox players have to wait three years post-retirement to receive Hall of Fame consideration, but the team opted to waive that prerequisite while celebrating Pedroia’s illustrious Friday evening.

Red Sox legends Luis Tiant and Pedro Martinez were among those who welcomed Pedroia as the newest member of the team’s Hall of Fame, as the longtime second baseman becomes the 37th former player to join the club.

Pedroia, who turns 38 in August, retired from the game of baseball this past February after spending all 14 years of his major-league career and all 17 years of his professional career with the Red Sox.

Among all-time franchise leaders, the former American League MVP ranks 11th in games played (1,512), 10th in runs scored (922), eighth in hits (1,805), sixth in doubles (394), 18th in home runs (140), 15th in RBI (725), 12th in walks (624), and sixth in stolen bases (138).

Besides Bobby Doerr, who is in the Hall of Fame and had his No. 1 retired by the club in 1988, Pedroia is unquestionably the greatest, modern second baseman in Red Sox history.

In addition to being named AL MVP in 2008 — his second full season — the former second-round draft pick out of Arizona State University won AL Rookie of the Year in 2007, was selected to four All-Star teams, won four Gold Glove Awards, one Silver Slugger Award, and three World Series championships (2007, 2013, and 2018).

From the time he made his first major-league Opening Day roster in April 2007 until the final day of the 2017 season (the last year he played more than 100 games in a single season), Pedroia consistently put himself in the conversation as the best second baseman in baseball, all while never taking a single play off.

In that time period, the California native ranked second among all second baseman in terms of fWAR (48.0), trailing only Robinson Cano over that lengthy stretch, per FanGraphs.

It goes without saying that Pedroia’s career with the Red Sox was a legendary one, and one that was cut short by multiple knee surgeries that came as a result of then-Orioles infielder Manny Machado clipping his leg while sliding into second base in Baltimore on April 21, 2017.

Because of that incident, Peroia ultimately had to undergo a knee replacement this past December, which essentially forced him to call it a career a few short weeks later.

Still, Pedroia will go down in the books as one of the hardest working and grittiest players that has ever donned a Red Sox uniform. And he — all 5-foot-9, 170 pounds of him — played that way despite being told his entire life he was too small to do what he does.

As Red Sox manager Alex Cora put it on Friday when discussing his former teammate: “What this kid means to the organization, to this city, for me personally you can’t put it into words. From day one he gave it everything he had to the game, to the Red Sox. He didn’t take a play off in his career. Even when he didn’t play, he was locked in on every pitch. He’s amazing.”

Thank you, Dustin Pedroia.

(Picture of Dustin Pedroia: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox to honor Dustin Pedroia before June 25 game against Yankees at Fenway Park

More than five months after he retired, Dustin Pedroia will finally be honored by the Red Sox during pregame ceremonies leading up to the opening game of a three-game weekend series against the Yankees at Fenway Park on Friday, June 25.

First pitch of that game is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time.

Pedroia, who announced his retirement from baseball back on February 1, spent all 14 years of his major-league career and all 17 years of his professional career with the Red Sox organization.

Boston selected the second baseman in the second round of the 2004 amateur draft out of Arizona State University. He went on to play 1,512 games in a Red Sox uniform, which ranks 11th all-time in franchise history.

Over those 1,512 games from 2006-2019, Pedroia recorded 1,805 hits, scored 922 runs, hit 140 home runs, collected 725 RBI, and stole 138 bases while slashing .299/.365/.439.

In that same time frame, the 37-year-old won three World Series titles, four Gold Glove awards, and one Silver Slugger award. He was also selected to four American League All-Star teams and earned AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2007 and AL Most Valuable Player honors in 2008.

With that sort of resume to his name, Pedroia was undoubtedly on a Hall of Fame track while establisihing himself as one of — if not the best second baseman in Red Sox history.

Unfortunately, injuries ultimately did the California native in during the latter stages of his career.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, Pedroia was forced to call it a career on account of playing just nine total games from 2018-2020 due to a recurring left knee injury that required a partial knee replacement in December 2020.

That procedure, Pedroia’s fifth knee surgery since October 2017 and sixth in all, resulted in him not being able to continue to play the game he was extremely passionate about.

“I don’t have any regrets. And that’s what I’m proud of,” Pedroia said during his retirement Zoom call. “Could it have ended better and I finished my career the right way? Yeah, of course. But there was a reason why I was the first one dressed at 5:30 for a 7 o’clock game. … The biggest thing in my mind was, ‘This could be my last game. You don’t know.’ And that’s the way I approached it from Little League on. I played every game like it was my last one. I had the best time playing.”

(Picture of Dustin Pedroia: Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Chaim Bloom on possibility of Red Sox making more additions before Opening Day: ‘There’s still some players out there that are of interest’

Even after making a slew of roster moves this offseason, the Red Sox are likely still not done making additions between now and Opening Day on April 1.

Outside of the Marwin Gonzalez signing being made official sometime in the near future, nothing in regards to a roster move for Boston is imminent at this point, but that is not going to stop the club from exploring opportunities to improve for the short- and l0ng-term.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said as much on Sunday when asked if this is the roster that will kick off the 2021 season.

“Outside of what you alluded to (Gonzalez), there’s nothing else pending,” Bloom said via a Zoom call with reporters. “But, we’re always going to be on the lookout. There’s still some players out there that are of interest. We’re going to keep staying in touch with them, keep monitoring them. You guys saw the other day, we made a waiver claim.”

On Thursday, the Sox claimed right-handed reliever John Schreiber off waivers from the Tigers while placing ace left-hander Chris Sale to the 60-day injured list.

It was a transaction that, on the surface, is reminiscent of when Boston claimed right-hander Phillps Valdez off waivers from the Mariners last February and placed the now-retired Dustin Pedroia on the 60-day injured list in a corresponding move.

Valdez, 29, seemingly came out of nowhere and wound up making quite the impact in his debut season with the Red Sox, posting a 3.26 ERA and 4.28 FIP over 24 relief appearances and 30 1/3 innings pitched in 2020.

Expecting Schreiber, 27 in March, to do the same with his new team this coming season might be a bit unfair, but it’s safe to assume that Boston is making these sorts of moves with the idea that the players they bring in can contribute to the cause.

“This is a time of year when sometimes there can be that kind of roster shuffling in other organizations,” Bloom added. “It’s a bit early in spring to start having a lot of those conversations with other clubs, but we just want to make sure that we’re active. That we have our finger on the pulse and that we don’t walk past anything that has a chance to help us.”

While it still may be too early in the spring to engage with teams on players who may or may not be available via trade, one area the Red Sox can turn to is the free-agent market. And one free-agent the team is still interested in is old friend Jackie Bradley Jr.

Despite coming off a 2020 campaign in which he slashed .283/.364/.450 with seven home runs and 22 RBI over 55 games played, the 30-year-old client of Scott Boras remains unsigned with just weeks to go until the 2021 season begins. That might have something to do with his reported asking price as well as the limited number of suitors out there.

The Red Sox, even while adding the likes of Gonzalez, Franchy Cordero, Enrique Hernandez, and Hunter Renfroe to help bolster their outfield depth, have yet to rule out a reunion with Bradley Jr. — who spent the first eight seasons of his major-league career with Boston — to this point.

“We continue to stay in touch and make sure we’re in touch with Scott about his situation,” said Bloom in regards to Bradley Jr.’s free agency. “We’re going to do that until it resolves. Obviously, as the winter’s gone on, we haven’t let that prevent us from making other moves when we’ve seen opportunity to add good players that fit us and can bolster this roster. But, we love Jackie and we’ve stayed in touch with Scott on him throughout the entire winter.”

Red Sox manager Alex Cora echoed this same sort of sentiment on Saturday when talking about Bradley Jr.’s current situation.

“We talk a lot, but we don’t talk baseball,” Cora said. “We don’t talk about his situation. I talk about Emerson and the baby and how they’re doing. He asks about my family, and we keep it at that. Obviously, he’s a good player. He’s a guy that can help any team at the big-league level to win ballgames. There’s more than just the manager and the player. There’s a relationship and I keep our conversations with that.”

(Picture of Chaim Bloom: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Chaim Bloom on Dustin Pedroia’s retirement press conference: ‘Every young player who comes into our organization should watch this, and just see how he talks about how he got after his craft’

Earlier this week, Dustin Pedroia retired from baseball after 17 years with the Red Sox organization.

The 37-year-old infielder took approximately 37 minutes to field questions from reporters during a Zoom press conference on Monday. And while he said it will likely be a while before he considers a return to baseball in a full-time, non-playing capacity, it appears that his words could already be making an impact on the Red Sox.

That being the case because in his presser, Pedroia spoke of the way he approached everyday of his baseball career from the time he was a young child until the time he was a veteran big-leaguer.

“There was a reason why I was the first one dressed at 5:30 for a 7 o’clock game,” Pedroia said Monday. “The biggest thing in my mind was, ‘This could be my last game. You don’t know.’ And that’s the way I approached it from Little League on. I played every game like it was my last one. I had the best time playing… I never took one play off from Little League on.”

These words, as well as plenty of others from the former American League MVP resonated with many, including Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom. He said as much himself during a virtual town hall event earlier Thursday afternoon.

“If you didn’t get a chance to watch his press conference, go watch it,” Bloom said of Pedroia. “I was watching this and I said, ‘Every young player who comes into our organization should watch this, and just see how he talks about how he got after his craft.’ That’s what we want from every young player. The things he cares about: preparing, working hard, being the best teammate and winning. That’s really what it’s all about.”

As far as the role Bloom and Co. envision for Pedroia in the future, the CBO said that topic was one of the first topics touched upon when the two sides discussed how the four-time All-Star’s career would come to a close.

“It’s still early, and as he said really eloquently in his press conference, he’s going to prioritize family, and especially those three boys, right now,” stated Bloom. “But, as we were navigating this retirement, we started the conversation with him. He knows we want him to be involved. It’s really a question of figuring out what works for him in a way that’s going to be really productive for the organization.”

Now that Pedroia has retired, the Red Sox would obviously like to celebrate the longtime second baseman’s career in ceremonial fashion at Fenway Park this coming season.

The only thing preventing that from happening is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which will presumably place a limit on how many fans can attend Red Sox home games in 2021.

“We will absolutely appropriately celebrate Pedey,” team president and CEO Sam Kennedy said of the club’s plans to honor Pedroia. “But, we have to do it when we have a packed house, or at least have some fans back. He deserves that, and I know fans want to see him.

“I just would echo exactly what Chaim said,” Kennedy continued. “What an incredible role model, spokesperson, someone you want to try and emulate. If you have a young person playing any sport, the work ethic, the commitment, the passion, you can’t teach that. He was an original. Such an important part of everything that’s gone on here the past 20 years. Really looking forward to the day when we can welcome him into the organization in some capacity. But, I don’t think it will be for a while. I think he really wants to be home and be with his family, and he’s privileged to be in a position to do that. So, we’ll be patient.

For now, Pedroia — even without taking on a full-time role within the organization — will still play an important part for Boston moving forward in 2021 and beyond.

Just ask Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

“He’ll be facetiming a lot of people. We know that,” Cora said with a smirk. “He’s still going to be a presence, obviously. With everything that is going on, whenever we get him back at Fenway it’s going to be a fun day. He will always be welcome. Nonstop texting, calling people, helping players out. He’s going to be a big part of what we are trying to accomplish not only this year but the upcoming years… This guy, the last two years, three years, has been very important to the program, and that’s not going to change.”

(Picture of Dustin Pedroia: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Dustin Pedroia wishes he could take field one more time for Red Sox, but has no regrets about how playing career ended

Dustin Pedroia’s last game in a Red Sox uniform came on April 17, 2019 against the Yankees in the Bronx. He went 0-for-1 with a flyout to right field before being removed in the middle of the second inning.

At the time, there likely was no chance Pedroia envisioned that would be the last time he would step on a major-league diamond as a player, but after officially retiring from the game after 17 years as a professional on Monday, it is.

Ideally, it would have been nice to see the 37-year-old icon get a sendoff at Fenway Park at some point this coming season. Something that would have been similar to the one Mets legend David Wright got at Citi Field in 2018.

But, things happen. And Pedroia’s body, or more specifically his left knee, prevented that from happening given the fact that the former American League MVP is no longer in playing shape.

“Obviously, I would love to play,” Pedroia said when speaking with reporters via a Zoom call earlier Monday. “I’d love to put the uniform on and be able to play. You got to understand, [Red Sox fans] are the best fans ever. On a Tuesday night, or whatever, there’s 37,000 people there going crazy. And I got a chance to do that for as long as I did. To do it one more time? Yeah, of course. I would do anything to have that opportunity.

“But, I can’t. I can’t run,” he continued. “That part will always hurt me. I wish I had one more time, but I don’t regret anything. It is what it is, I’m OK. Now I just have to have everything that I’ve learned and built up and all the energy I have, I have to give it to other people now. And that’s how I can help, but I’m OK.”

In regards to the energy he has to give to other people now, Pedroia, who won three World Series titles in his 14-year major-league career with Boston, further elaborated by speaking of what he can offer the next generation of young athletes, which surely includes his three sons, Dylan, Cole and Brooks.

“Now, I just want to be healthy,” said the four-time All-Star. “I want to impact the younger generation with the stories I have and the things that I’ve gone through and the adversity that I’ve dealt with. That’s what I’m supposed to do now, and I look forward to it.”

As far as being celebrated at Fenway Park for being one of the more iconic players in Red Sox history, Pedroia’s time will come. It just won’t come as an active player.

(Picture of Dustin Pedroia: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Newly retired Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia underwent partial knee replacement in December

More than 12 months before announcing his retirement from baseball on Monday after spending 17 years with the Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia was preparing for the 2020 regular season.

The longtime second baseman was limited to just six games in 2019 and had undergone a successful left knee joint preservation procedure — his third knee surgery since October 2017 — that August in Colorado.

“Last January, going into [the 2020 season],  I was still working out, still trying to get ready to come back and play. And I woke up one morning and my knee was huge,” Pedroia told reporters via Zoom earlier Monday. “I went and saw the doctors and it looked like an explosion went off in there. So, I was told that I needed to get a partial knee replacement.”

Given the logistics that go into a procedure of that magnitude, it took quite a bit of time for Pedroia — with the Red Sox helping him research which doctor would be best to perform the operation — to set something up.

“By the time that that happened, by the time I was going to have that surgery, the pandemic hit,” the 37-year-old continued. “That set everything back a lot. So, it got to a point where finally surgeries opened back up. And in December, I had a partial knee replacement.”

Pedroia spent the entirety of 2020 (spring training, summer camp, regular season) away from the Red Sox and instead spent time with his family at home in Arizona.

“I’m glad none of you guys got a chance to see me. I wasn’t in a good place,” he said. “I grinded every day just to be able to play with my kids and just live a normal life. My knee was bad, and I’m a young guy.

It took approximately a week after the surgery for Pedroia to be able to walk with no pain in his knee, but he is still dealing with the repercussions from the operation now.

“In December, I had the surgery, and a week later, I could tell that I could walk without pain,” said the four-time All-Star. “I can basically do everything now except run. I can’t run anymore, which is fine. I don’t need to run. Once I had the surgery, nobody has played with a partial knee replacement because of the fear of it breaks and the rest of my life would be severely impacted by it.”

With this in mind, Pedroia’s playing career effectively came to an end, which at the time was frustrating considering the fact that the former American League MVP had put together back-to-back solid campaigns in his age-32 and -33 seasons in 2016 and 2017.

“I think the hardest part was I felt like I was in my prime and understanding how to play the game as I got older,” Pedroia stated. “2016 was one of my best years, and the first month of ’17 I was rolling right along and one play kind of derailed a lot of that and threw all of us in a pattern we were trying to find a way to get out of.”

That one play, of course, would be when former Orioles infielder Manny Machado slid into Pedroia’s left knee during the eighth inning of a game in Baltimore on April 21, 2017.

Pedroia still managed to play 105 games in 2017 despite that play, but offseason surgery that winter all but marked the end of his playing career despite several valiant efforts to return.

“After all of our trainers and doctors and everybody… We saw everybody and we did it together and we heard the news that it wasn’t possible to play with this,” he said. “So, when the cards are stacked against you, I tried — we all tried to do everything possible to continue to play. And I’m proud of that and I’m proud of the way that our trainers helped me and the doctors and everybody.”

As hard as he tried to come back from injury by playing in three games in 2018 and six in 2019, Pedroia reached a point where his body could not keep up any longer, and that came when he underwent partial knee replacement late last year.

“But it wasn’t physically possible for me to continue to play baseball with a partial knee replacement,” said Pedroia. “So once I got that done, I knew. And the team has been great at leading me in the right directions on things to do and how to get better. And just to be better for my everyday life. Because I’m only 37 years old and I’ve got a long way to go.”

(Picture of Dustin Pedroia: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia announces retirement from baseball after 14 big-league seasons

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has announced his retirement from the game of baseball, the team announced earlier Monday.

Pedroia, 37, spent 14 major-league seasons with Boston and 17 with the organization as a whole after being selected by the club in the second round of the 2004 amateur draft out of Arizona State University.

The Woodland, Calif. native won three World Series titles with the Sox in addition to being named American League Rookie of the Year in 2007 and American League MVP in 2008. He also won one Silver Slugger award, four Gold Glove Awards, and was named to four American League All-Star teams.

Across 1,512 games in a Red Sox uniform from 2006-2019, Pedroia accrued a .299/.365/.439 slash line to go along with 140 home runs, 725 RBI, and 138 stolen bases over 6,777 career plate appearances.

Injuries had hindered Pedroia’s time on the field recently, though, as he had appeared in just nine games dating back to Opening Day 2018 on account of undergoing three separate knee surgeries.

Even while sidelined, however, Pedroia’s passion for the game — and to help his team — remained.

“Through championships and injuries, Dustin’s disciplined approach never wavered,” Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy said. “His work ethic is incomparable, and we saw him attack his rehab during the last chapter of his career with the same intensity he approached the batter’s box in his prime. I know hanging up his spikes is not an easy decision for a competitor of his caliber. We are fortunate to have had him in a Red Sox uniform for so long and look forward to welcoming him back to Fenway Park to celebrate his career.”

Among all-time franchise leaders, Pedroia ranks 11th in games played, 10th in runs scored (988), eighth in hits (1,805), sixth in doubles (394), and sixth in stolen bases.

Listed at just 5-foot-9 and 170 lbs., Pedroia played with a certain kind of passion that enthralled those around him; teammates, coaches, and fans alike.

Whether it be hustling down the line, sprawling for a hard-hit groundball, or coming up with a clutch, late-inning hit, “the Laser Show” was as captivating as they come.

“From the first day we shared the field until today, the love, passion and enthusiasm for the game has not changed,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Pedroia, his teammate from 2006-2008. “It has been a pleasure to watch you grow as a player, teammate, husband and father. You have impacted our organization like few others and I live proud of you.”

Pedroia, who was entering the final year of the eight-year, $110 million contract extension he signed with Boston in 2013, will still receive the $12 million he was due to make in 2021.

A press conference regarding Pedroia’s announcement will begin at approximately 1:30 p.m. eastern time Monday afternoon, so stay tuned for that.

(Picture of Dustin Pedroia: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

What the Adam Ottavino trade means for the Red Sox’ 40-man roster

After the Red Sox made their acquisition of right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino from the Yankees official on Monday, the club’s Opening Day roster took another step towards its completion.

That said, the reason the Sox were able to announce the addition of Ottavino so quickly is because they had an open 40-man roster spot for him following the trade that sent infielder C.J. Chatham to the Phillies last week.

Now that the 35-year-old hurler is officially a Red Sox, though, more questions arise pertaining to other players Boston has reportedly signed to major-league contracts recently. Those players would be none other than left-hander Martin Perez, utilityman Enrique Hernandez, and right-hander Garrett Richards, of course.

Perez agreed to a one-year deal with the Sox that includes a club option for 2022 on January 16, Hernandez agreed to a two-year deal on January 22, and Richards agreed to deal with a similar structure to Perez’s on Saturday.

According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, all three of these deals are still pending physicals and likely won’t be made official until later this week.

Between now and the time said deals are made official, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. will have some tough decisions to make when it comes to trimming down the club’s 40-man roster in order to accommodate Perez, Hernandez, and Richards.

One way to make room for this trio would be designate three players currently on the 40-man for assignment. Right-handers Joel Payamps, Chris Mazza, and Marcus Walden, left-hander Jeffrey Springs, and outfield prospect Marcus Wilson were among the candidates Cotillo suggested could be DFA’d.

Another way to make room, or at least make room for one player, would be for the Red Sox to trade a DFA candidate to another club in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations, as they did with Chatham. That way, a 40-man roster spot could be cleared to go along with some compensation in return.

Finally, there is the Dustin Pedroia conundrum that needs to be addressed. Again, this only creates a resolution for one spot but it seems pretty apparent that Pedroia, who has played in just nine total games the last three seasons, will not play out the final year of his contract.

The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham reported last week that the 37-year-old second baseman “is not planning a comeback and a resolution could come this month.”

Given the fact that Pedroia is somewhat of a franchise legend, Abraham noted that while the Sox “will want to do this correctly,” they are also running low on non-impact players on their 40-man roster.

Put another way, cutting Pedroia now as opposed to giving him a ceremonial sendoff in-season would not do the former American League MVP’s legacy justice.

So, the Red Sox have some roster-related decisions to make and they do not have much time to make them. What sort of moves will Bloom have in store? We will have to wait and see.

(Picture of Adam Ottavino: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Red Sox offseason: Dustin Pedroia will have ‘the say in anything going forward with his career,’ GM Brian O’Halloran says

Though his future is undecided at the moment, the Red Sox have remained in contact with Dustin Pedroia over the course of the offseason, general manager Brian O’Halloran said Monday.

Pedroia, 37, has played in just nine total games since the start of the 2018 season on account of undergoing three procedures on his left knee over the last three years.

“We talk to Dustin and his agents all the time,” O’Halloran told reporters via Zoom. “I wouldn’t get into the specifics of any of those conversations, but I understand the question.”

The Sox reinstated Pedroia from the 60-man injured list and added him back to the 40-man roster in late October, but that does not mean the second baseman will be ready to play in 2021.

“Dustin’s not a healthy player right now,” O’Halloran said of Pedroia. “Anything with Dustin, first of all, we’d keep those conversations private. And Dustin’s going to have the say in anything going forward with his career.”

Entering the final year of the eight-year, $110 million contract extension he signed with Boston in 2013, Pedroia did not play at all this past season and has not been with the Sox consistently since Memorial Day 2019. At that time, the four-time All-Star decided to halt all baseball/rehab activities and return to his Arizona home to assess his future.

With all the uncertainty surrounding his status moving forward, Pedroia would seem at serious risk to lose his spot on the Red Sox’ 40-man roster, which currently sits at 39 players.

As the virtual Winter Meetings commence this week, one would thing chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom is going to continue to reshuffle his team’s roster, and freeing up Pedroia’s spot could certainly help with that.

All that being said, Pedroia remains one of the more iconic figures in recent Red Sox history. The former second-round draft pick out of Arizona State has collected 1,805 career hits, a Silver Slugger Award, four Gold Glove Awards, an MVP trophy, and three World Series titles over the course of an illustrious 14-year major-league career.

Because of all those accolades and what he means to the franchise, Pedroia will certainly have plenty of influence on how his situation is handled by the team as the offseason continues.

“As a Red Sox great and someone who I have had the pleasure of knowing for many, many years now,” said O’Halloran, “we would give Dustin the respect of having input on everything that goes on with him and keep any conversations we have with him private.”