Source: Sox interested in Pedroia extension

BOSTON -- While Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington is optimistic about the club's unfinished offseason plans for free agency and the trade market, he also has some internal considerations brewing.

According to several league sources, the Red Sox have already decided it would be in their best interest to begin discussions this winter about a possible long-term contract extension with veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

Pedroia, 29, still has two years remaining on his current six-year, $40.5 million deal. He's due $10 million in 2013 and 2014, and the Red Sox have a club option for $11 million (with a $500,000 buyout) for 2015.

A league source indicated a potential extension for Pedroia isn't something the Red Sox are focused on right now because of all the other aspects they must address first. But talks with Pedroia are on the horizon, as the sides will make time for discussion at some point this offseason, sources said.

Cherington has said he likes the core of the current veteran players on the Red Sox's roster and would like to build the team around it, including Pedroia, David Ortiz, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. The GM proved he's willing to stick with Boston's own by signing Ortiz earlier this month to a two-year deal worth $26 million, with up to $4 million more in incentives.

The Red Sox see Pedroia -- as they do with Ortiz -- as a cornerstone to the team and would like him to continue as a face of the franchise and lead it into the future.

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