Dustin Pedroia is coming back, is that what's best for the Sox?
With the Red Sox needing to cut payroll heading into the 2020 season, it doesn't help Pedroia plans on playing. He hasn't been a factor for the Sox for a few years now after battling injuries. Ever since Manny Machado slid into him in 2017 he hasn't been the same. He's only played in nine games in the last two seasons, which isn't good when he's set to make $13 million this year and as the risk of getting hurt. No doubt Pedroia was once a great player, but really has lost a step and one more injury could end his career for good.
The Sox don't need Pedroia to win a World Series, they proved that in 2018. In 2017 he batted .293, hit seven home runs, and struck out 48 times. He's also making it hard for the Sox to rely on him for 2020 because he's so injury prone. Also, his exit velocity went from 88.0 in 2015, to 85.0 in 2017. I'd rather make Michael Chavis the permanent second baseman. His exit velocity was 88.8 last year and can stay on the field.
Pedroia doesn't sound too positive about staying on the field in 2020.
Pedroia spoke to Rob Bradford of WEEI and isn't looking at the big picture just taking it a day at a time. "I spent two years saying I was going to come back and kick everybody’s ass and then I played nine games. It is what it is. … You have to find a way to deal with it the best way you can. I’m not going to sit here and say I’m going to come back and be better than ever. Could I? Maybe. I don’t put it past anybody. It’s one step at a time. I’m not looking at the big picture. Everyone gets excited but I’ve been through this for two years and I know I have a lot of work to do strength wise. … I have to build a lot back up. If I do that, yes I will be able to play baseball. The problem is that when you go through three years without strengthening your quad when you’ve had major knee surgeries it’s hard to get back. But it’s coming back."
That quote doesn't seem too promising that he'll be 100% in 2020. It also could mean less time for Michael Chavis, which long term is what's best for the Sox not a player who can't stay on the field. The Red Sox are all about planning for the future and it seems Pedroia is holding them back by trying to play again after multiple surgeries and rehab.