Contract talks between the Red Sox and ace Josh Beckett are progressing according to SI.com's Jon Heyman (via Twitter), and optimism is high that a deal will be reached. In a second tweet, Heyman says it may take a few weeks for the two sides to finalize a contract extension, though ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes tweets that "substantive" talks are talking place and the end of Spring Training remains the target.
Beckett's current contract expires after the 2010 season, during which he will earn $12.1MM. Once the Sox signed John Lackey, there was some thought that it may spell the end of Beckett's tenure in Boston. Lackey's five-year, $82.5MM deal could be used as framework, though there's also been some rumblings that Roy Halladay's three-year, $60MM deal may also be a fit. MLBTR's readers discussed Beckett's situation last month.