SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Dustin Pedroia hasn’t given up hope of playing again, and at least within the Red Sox organization, there’s reason to believe the longtime second baseman can make a comeback.

Pedroia, whose knee issues have limited him to nine games total over the last two seasons, is evidently optimistic about his chances of playing for the Red Sox in 2020.

“Every indication I’ve gotten is that he’s feeling good and intending on playing,” said Chaim Bloom, Boston’s new chief baseball officer, as the annual general manager meetings began in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Pedroia played six games in 2019 before another setback in his surgically repaired left knee eventually led the second baseman to be shut down. During an emotional press conference in late May, Pedroia acknowledged doubt surrounding his future and the 36-year-old admitted he wasn’t sure if he would play again.

But both he and the organization thought it would be in his best interest to take an indefinite period away from baseball while being with his family in Arizona. It’s apparently given him time to heal and feel refreshed about his ability to return.

“I think just perhaps how he feels about things has changed since it was pretty raw at that point,” said Red Sox General Manager Brian O’Halloran. “He’s been working out and doing well by his own account and we’re going to talk to him and learn more. I don’t think that anything specifically changed. I think it’s more that time has passed and he’s been feeling better.”


Bloom said he’s been texting with Pedroia and hopes to see the second baseman, who lives in nearby Chandler, Arizona, before they leave this week’s meetings to get more information about his status.

The Red Sox have a need at second base as they enter what should be a busy winter, but depending on Pedroia, who is on the team’s 40-man roster, would obviously be ill-advised given his recent health history. Still, they’re hoping for the best with him.

“I would never think of it as a problem to have Dustin Pedroia on our 40-man roster and be concerned about planning around him, no,” O’Halloran said. “So it’s good to have him on our roster and hopefully he continues to progress and is in the mix.”

has run into the representation for Mookie Betts, who figures to be the biggest piece of the organization’s agenda as it looks to engage on extension talks or looks to trade the star right-fielder as he enters his final year before free agency. More meetings will come this week.

“We’re going to talk with a lot of different agents while we’re here,” Bloom said. “They will certainly be no exception, we talk to them all the time.”

As far as offseason priorities go this winter, though, and what needs the Red Sox may be looking to fill, Bloom wasn’t revealing much.

“I would say to look at it in terms of Need A, Need B and Need C might be a little limiting for us,” Bloom said. “To zoom out and look at … we know our objective is to prioritize sustainability, prioritize competitiveness. Not just this coming year but also in the long-term. To think of things through that lens rather than trying to arrange an order of needs is how we’re approaching it and it should open up more options for us.”

THERE WASN’T MUCH news about Chris Sale, who is continuing to rehab in Fort Myers as he recovers from left elbow inflammation that forced him to miss the last month-and-a-half of the season. Sale is still scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews for a checkup, but it’s still unclear when that will happen.

When Sale was placed on the injured list in mid-August, he was scheduled to be re-evaluated by Andrews in six weeks, but that period has long passed. O’Halloran explained that the Red Sox falling out of the playoff hunt allowed them to take it slower with Sale.

“The six weeks was kind of the early range that we were given by our medical department on what was appropriate on a return to play,” O’Halloran said. “Once the postseason was no longer a factor, we decided to take the outer end of the range just because it made the most sense to slow it down and give the most time possible to heal and go from there.”

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