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Red Sox reportedly nearing four-year contract extension with Josh Beckett

Mar 30, 2010, 12:01 PM EST

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports that long-term contract talks between Josh Beckett and the Red Sox “have progressed to the point that there is optimism a deal will be completed in the next week or two.”
According to Olney the Red Sox have offered Beckett a four-year deal worth “in the range of $65 million to $70 million.” This offseason Boston signed John Lackey–who’s about 18 months older than Beckett–to a five-year, $82.5 million deal, so a four-year extension for Beckett would lock them both up through the 2014 season.
Over the weekend ESPNBoston.com’s Gordon Edes reported that the Red Sox were unwilling to guarantee Beckett a fifth year, but if Olney’s subsequent report is on the mark that apparently isn’t a deal-breaker for the 29-year-old right-hander.
Beckett is in the final season of a three-year, $30 million deal after going 17-6 with a 3.86 ERA and 199/55 K/BB ratio in 212.1 innings spread over 32 starts in 2009. During four years in Boston he’s 65-34 with a 4.05 ERA in 122 regular-season starts and 5-1 with a 3.88 ERA in the playoffs.

  1. Nasty Boy - Mar 30, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    I don’t think he’ll take the offer. I think his ego will get in the way, and there are plenty of teams out there that will top not only the money , but will give him the extra year.The Lackey signing is a slap in the face, he’s a better pitcher than Lackey. The Met”s would be a prime landing spot for him. That would be just one of many who would go after him. Think of what he could do in the National league.

  2. ClementeLegend - Mar 30, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    Translation: You know nothing about Josh Beckett, his lack of ego about having to break the bank.
    Since he’s made comments about it earlier in the spring.

  3. ClementeLegend - Mar 30, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    Translation: You know absolutely nothing about Josh Beckett or his lack of ego regarding a need to break the bank.
    Read his comments about this earlier in the spring.
    P.S. No one wants to go from the Red Sox to the Mets. Beckett doesn’t want to be Jason Bay if he can help it. Forget the Mets, they would just be used as leverage.

  4. ClementeLegend'sTypo - Mar 30, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    Ooops
    LOL – Double post, double the fun?
    Sorry. My bad.

  5. dp - Mar 30, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    I not only think it’s a slap in the face, I think it was Epstein’s plan all along. If they are talking now , I don’t see it in earnest.The Lackey signing was a back-up plan all along. I feel they thought they couldn’t sign Beckett, and Lackey was next best.They weren’t going to let Beckett hold them ransom. Epstein is a sneaky little sob,and he was covering his bases.

  6. Nasty Boy - Mar 30, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    I guess I’ll make this so you can understand : the Met’s are just an example, now do you understand. There are Plenty of teams that would grab him. You sir no nothing about greed , these players are like anyone else, if they can get the money , they’ll take it . Don’t be so naive to think he’ll give Boston a discount. Use your head , would you leave 10 to 15 million on the table to stay in Boston? If so, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

  7. YX - Mar 30, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    I guess that’s why Mauer is wearing pinstripes. Well he is, just not the ugly kind.

  8. Mike - Mar 30, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    So instead of taking previous statements, actions, and contracts into account you’re basing your entire assessment of his potential market options on an “all humans are greedy” justification.
    Don’t quit your day job.

  9. Big Ed 1935 - Mar 30, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    He took a discount the last time. This is not a discount. They will end up with an option year with reservations. Like Lackey signed for the fifth year.

  10. Joey B - Mar 30, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    “You sir no nothing about greed , these players are like anyone else, if they can get the money , they’ll take it . Don’t be so naive to think he’ll give Boston a discount. Use your head , would you leave 10 to 15 million on the table to stay in Boston?”
    Just imho, but it sounds like you know nothing about greed if you are assuming that everyone is greedy. Beckett has discounted money before, as he did with his last extension with the RS. There is probably a pricetag on most things, and I don’t know what your job is like, but I’m not leaving my job for another 5-10%.
    You are also making the assumption that he is leaving a lot of money on the table. If he signs at the upper end of the range mentioned ($70M), then he basically loses one year and $12.5M. Assuming he is still reasonably healthy, someone will pay him for that 5th year. At the age of 33, he’ll still be very marketable.
    Maybe he figures he’ll sign the contract, kill the injury risk, put ~ $42M in the bank, and worry about that 5th year 5 years from now.

  11. Joey B - Mar 30, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    “So instead of taking previous statements, actions, and contracts into account you’re basing your entire assessment of his potential market options on an “all humans are greedy” justification.
    Don’t quit your day job.”
    My last post seems to have gotten lost, but I basically said the same thing. Most people I know wouldn’t change jobs unless there was a big advantage. If he signs this contract, Beckett will have been guaranteed > $100M for his career. He’ll be looking for another contract in four years instead of five. He won’t have an injury risk this year. And it’s not like he can spend all the money he’s earned anyway.

  12. Delaware Sox Fan - Mar 30, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    Discount? I wouldn’t call the possibility of 17 million a year a discount. He made 10 million last year. He will DEFINITELY sign. He likes to WIN.

  13. Big Harold - Mar 30, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    If Burnett accepts anything less than Lackey his agent should be de-certified. Lackey set the bar for Burnett in terms of dollars and years. It’s too simplistic to assume it’s all about greed. And, the last time I checked the Red Sox player’s don’t generally play for free room and board and beer money. Nevertheless, contracts are not just a question of money, .. it’s a great big equation that’s different for every player but be assured money is huge part of it. The Red Sox gave Lackey a contract they deemed fitting of a front line starter. I’m sure Burnett thinks he’s every bit as good as Lackey and probably thinks he’s just as deserving.
    As was stated earlier it’s a lot more than the Mets that would be interested, like just about every big market team. Many of whom are not only regularly in contention but are always looking for a quality starter, .. including the Yankees, (although the Yankees seem very unlikely).

  14. Joey B - Mar 30, 2010 at 5:31 PM

    “The Red Sox gave Lackey a contract they deemed fitting of a front line starter. I’m sure Burnett thinks he’s every bit as good as Lackey and probably thinks he’s just as deserving.”
    He’s as good or better, but the fact that Lackey was a FA is worth something. Beckett still has a year to go on his contract, so a four-year extension would create a 5-year commitment by the RS. With Lackey, they need to worry about his health 5 years from now. If they give Beckett five years, then they need to worry about 6 years of health.
    Put another way, Lackey is presumably market-priced. If Beckett is identical to Lackey, then Beckett should get the same amount. If you can get Beckett for $82.5M at year-end, why pay $82.5M now and absorb the injury risk?

  15. Big Harold - Mar 30, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    If Beckett were to worrying about risking his health via injury the better risk is now at 30, .. not 5 years from now closing in on 35. Beckett, who was born in May of 1980, will be 30 in 6 weeks will be looking down the barrel of 35, not 33, if the presumed 4 year extension is signed now.
    Unless Beckett can get at least 72.5 mil, (this years 10 mil plus 72.5 to match Lackey), he’s not matching Lackey and selling himself short. Or, unless he he has reason to think there is something acutely wrong with his shoulder or back it would be a strategic mistake to except a 4 year extension. By the time he’s hit the FA market again he’ll be perceived as a 35 year old pitcher with, obviously, a lot more ware and tear. And, that’s assuming that he doesn’t have a significant injury(s) in the mean time. At this point if I were him I’d be wondering why it is that I should assume that risk five years from now and not the Red Sox.

  16. Nasty Boy - Mar 30, 2010 at 6:03 PM

    With the sound of your intellect , I seriously doubt you ever had a job. All I’m hearing are Red Sox fans hoping he’s stupid enough to get screwed by Epstein. He’s not on the upside, more to the middle as far as his ability goes.If someone offers him five years @ 85 million and he doesn’t take it to stay in Boston , than he is an idiot, like you.

  17. Nasty Boy - Mar 30, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    Finally someone with a brain on this site. Most of these people are only hoping the Sox can con Beckett into a lower contract than they gave Lackey , who isn’t near the pitcher Beckett is. I say he should get what he can , In ten years Boston, and their fans will have forgotten his name. I say wait for free agency and go to the highest bidder , and I bet Boston won’t be one of them. Ask Damon, Nomar, and Pedro how loyal Epstein is. Remember , this is a business.

  18. Joey B - Mar 31, 2010 at 9:52 AM

    “I say wait for free agency and go to the highest bidder , and I bet Boston won’t be one of them. Ask Damon, Nomar, and Pedro how loyal Epstein is. Remember , this is a business.”
    I think you need to weigh the extra money against the enjoyment of the job. There’s really only a small handful of teams that are a consistent WS contender. There are only 5 teams that consistently make the POs, with only three likely to be able to afford him. If he got $70M/4, and even $8M for his first year after that, he’s only out $4.5M. I’m thinking that the extra $4.5 might not be overly meaningful to him.
    IRT loyalty, there’s not really any room for it at this level, and even if there was, it has to be a two-way street. Theo was more loyal to Pedro, Damon, and Nomar than they were to the RS. Theo offered them more than they were worth. They turned it down. He offered Nomar $60M/4. He wound up with ~ $31M ver the next four years, and earned little of it. Pedro got $13M per and averaged 8-6. Damon played CF for one year. They tried to squeeze every last cent out of the RS. That’s not loyalty.

  19. Don B. - Mar 31, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    If you include this year (because it’s a 4-year extension), then the next five years with Lackey and Beckett are very similar in contract, and likely in performance as well if the last few years are any indication.

  20. Joey B - Apr 1, 2010 at 8:43 AM

    Yup, including this year, Beckett gets about $78M/5 and Lackey $82.5M/5. The difference of $4.5M sounds about right since the current year contract carries a risk factor, and Lackey’s contract calls for an extra year in case of injury.
    Again, I don’t think there is a material difference between the two contracts, and I don’t think Beckett feels like he needs to clean the table.

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