Then, there were a couple of seasons of Marco Scutaro. Mike Aviles teamed with Pedroia for just one season. Last season, Pedroia teamed with Stephen Drew and Jose Iglesias.
At last, Pedroia could have a long-term double-play partner in Xander Bogaerts, the highly promising rookie. Bogaerts spent the last few weeks of 2013 with the Red Sox, but mainly as a third baseman.
"It's definitely huge," said Bogaerts. "If I'm going to be playing shortstop, I need to know where he likes the ball. He's a Gold Glove, All-Star, MVP second baseman. He knows what he's talking about. He's been around the league. I just have a few days in the big leagues."
Manager John Farrell appreciates how Pedroia has always adapted to a new shortstop.
"I think he's dealt with it as best as we could have ever hoped," Farrell said. "He's had good players play alongside of him. But let's face it, the more repetition you get with a partner up the middle, you're going to have a better read and the nuances, being able to anticipate things at a greater rate. So we're looking forward to establishing that continuity going forward."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.