Dustin Pedroia, long time Boston Red Sox second baseman and 2008 American League Most Valuable Player, announced his retirement today.
Pedroia, 37, was, along with Robinson Cano, Chase Utley and Ian Kinsler, part of a crop of star-caliber second basemen who came into the league around the same time in the mid-aughts. Pedroia was a second round pick in 2004 out of Arizona State — his beating out Ian Kinsler for the shortstop job there led Kinsler to transfer to the University of Missouri — and after a cup of coffee in 2006, he won the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 2007, slashing .317/.380/.442 with a 3.9 bWAR.
Pedroia followed that up with a 6.9 bWAR 2008 season that saw him win the MVP, a Gold Glove, and a Silver Slugger, as well as being named to the All Star team. He was named to three more All Star teams in his career, won three more Gold Gloves, and had two more top 10 MVP finishes, including in 2011, when he had an 8.0 bWAR.
Pedroia had an outstanding 10 year run from 2007 to 2016 where he put up a 50.6 bWAR, but was dogged by injuries after that — he played in 105 games in 2017, but then just 3 games in 2018 and 6 games in 2019, then didn’t play in 2020.
Pedroia is 22nd all time among second basemen in career bWAR — he’s behind Kinsler, Utley and Cano due to the injuries, but he is nestled between Hall of Famers Bid McPhee and Bobby Doerr on the all time second base list. He should present an interesting Hall of Fame case once he’s eligible, as he was a key member of some great championship Boston Red Sox teams, and was a Hall of Fame caliber player for a decade.