Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is one of the most impactful players in his team’s history. He’s a former American League MVP, World Series champion, All-Star and Gold Glove winner. Standing 5’9’’ and weighing 175 pounds, Pedroia is often celebrated for his hustle and grit. He’s a clubhouse leader, too, and is actively involved in a number of charities, including the Jimmy Fund and Pedroia’s Platoon. There’s a lot to like.
More recently, the 36-year-old former Arizona State star has become an expensive spectator for a club that is aggressively trying to slash payroll. His situation is a reminder of the sanctity of guaranteed contracts in baseball and the inability of teams to deny players a chance to collect even when they can no longer perform.
Playing hurt and then not playing because of being hurt
Pedroia’s injury history is long, but until recently had been accompanied by a knack to play, whether healthy or hurt. He suffered a broken left foot in 2010, a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb in 2012, a left wrist injury in 2014 and multiple strains of his right hamstring in 2015. While these injuries cost Pedroia games here and…