2B Pedroia says he's healthy, will return to Bosox

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Dustin Pedroia is hoping to return to the Boston Red Sox next year after playing in just nine games during the past two seasons because of his injured left knee.

"Every indication I've gotten is that he's feeling good and intending on playing," Chaim Bloom, Boston's new chief baseball officer, said Monday.

The 36-year-old second baseman lives in nearby Chandler, and Bloom has exchanged texts in the hope of setting up a meeting.

"I know he's working pretty hard to make sure he's in as good a shape as possible," Bloom said. "But mostly, certainly for me, a lot of it is going to be just getting to know him. Knowing his importance here and to this organization, wanted to make sure to build a rapport with him as quickly as I could."

A four-time All-Star and the 2008 AL MVP, Pedroia has been slowed since a slide into his surgically repaired left knee at second base by Baltimore's Manny Machado on April 21, 2017.

Pedroia had left knee surgery on Oct. 25, 2017, and was limited to three big league games in May 2018 and six this April, including four at second. He had surgery on July 20, 2018, to remove scar tissue and another operation on Aug. 6 this year in which bone spurs were removed and a knee joint preservation procedure was performed.

His contract includes salaries of $13 million next year and $12 million in 2021, and he counts $13.28 million toward Boston's luxury tax payroll.

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