Talks Between Red Sox And Beckett Are Progressing

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.


77 Responses to Talks Between Red Sox And Beckett Are Progressing Leave a Reply

  1. Guest 5 years ago

    I’m going to take a guess. From 2011-2014 (4 years) $72MM.

  2. GOOD! That just leaves Papelbon then. Get it done Theo!!!

    • redsox4120 5 years ago

      not a long term deal for Pap Theo doesn’t do long term contracts for relievers. V-Mart is next on Theo’s list.

      • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

        Agreed. Although I could see him making a 2-3 year deal for Paps next offseason, if he gets his slider back and kicks ass. Otherwise, he’ll tread very cautiously around him; his price tag is bound to keep going up, with his crusade to get relievers similar salaries as starters, and if Bard improves this year and Pap doesn’t, Papelbon will be gone, unless he wants to lower his asking price.

      • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

        Nope. I’ll take the picks.

  3. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    Gonna say 6/95 deal. With that medical clause the red sox do.

    • ElWaldorf 5 years ago

      that clause has to be in there or this deal won’t be done by spring training. I say its gonna be around that but the 6th year will be the medical clause option.

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      Six years? I’d be shocked. And offended.

  4. BoSoxSam 5 years ago

    Awesome! I’m guessing it’s in the 5yr/85-90m range.

  5. The Sox need to get this deal done or Beckett will be playing in the Bronx next year.(5 years) $85MM.The Red Sox set the marketplace when they gave Lackey (5 years) 82.5MM

  6. redsox4120 5 years ago

    Locking up the “Big 3″(Beckett, Lester[locked up], Lackey[locked up]) is going to be huge for years to come, god I love Theo.

  7. BentoBox 5 years ago

    Beckett is a tad bit overrated.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      He’s a tremendous pitcher.

      • Ferrariman 5 years ago

        He’s an above average pitcher.

        Not on the same level as halladay, carpenter, verlander, lincecum, and so forth

        But still good

        • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

          I still don’t completely understand the lincecum hype. I have this nagging feeling that he’s going to get a major injury in the next year or two and fade away. But maybe not…I’m just saying, I would be worried if I was a Giants fan.

          Also, I agreed with your post until you mentioned Carpenter. Beckett is better than Carpenter. Nuff said.

          • Ferrariman 5 years ago

            That’s debatable about carpenter over beckett.

            Il say this,

            A healthy carpenter I’d take over a healthy Beckett any day.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            I think I would rank 10 pitchers above Beckett and Carpenter. But Beckett is certainly top 10-15 in Baseball.

          • KenJr1918 5 years ago

            Agreed. Put Carpenter in the AL East and this isn’t even a discussion. Look at Carpenter’s numbers in Toronto.

          • Ferrariman 5 years ago

            So many things wrong with that..

            1- Beckett didn’t change much going from Florida to Boston
            2- sabathia didn’t change a ton going from NL central(brewers) to AL east
            2- carpenter didn’t have a sinker with Toronto and would try to overpower hitters with pure gas which we all know doesn’t work
            3- dave Duncan. Nuff said
            4- with st louis, he was a pitcher. With Toronto, he was a thrower

          • Guest 5 years ago

            Yeah, the real main reason is the fact that Carpenter wasn’t really developed on the Blue Jays.

            You said it Ferrariman.

          • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

            “3- dave Duncan. Nuff said”

            This.

          • Jason_F 5 years ago

            Saying that you “don’t completely understand the lincecum hype,” implies that you haven’t been following baseball for the past two years. He won the top award for a pitcher in his league in each of his first two full seasons. I understand that the award is a result of a subjective vote, but all of his traditional and peripheral stats support the idea that he is at the top of his profession right now. Regardless of your “nagging feeling,” he deserves every bit of hype that has come his way.

            And the Beckett vs. Carpenter argument is not as cut and dry as you think. Assuming both guys are healthy, it’s arguable who is the better pitcher.

          • BentoBox 5 years ago

            Lincecum hype .. where do we start.
            Well, everybody likes him. Come on, he looks like hes 16, the media obsession with his hair, freakish delivery, nicknamed “The Franchise” and “The Freak” . OH and he smokes pot.
            Anyways .. his numbers
            2007 – 3.63 FIP 9.23 K/9 4.00 BB/9
            2008 – 2.62 FIP 10.51 K/9 3.33 BB/9
            2009 – 2.34 FIP 10.42 K/9 2.72 BB/9

            2x All Star, 2 Cy Young awards.

          • markjsunz 5 years ago

            He has some of the best pitching mechanics in the major leagues. His father has been working with his delivery since he started to walk. That does not mean an injury will not happen. But not as likely as some others.

          • care_bear 5 years ago

            best MECHANICS?! come on have you watched the guy pitch he looks like hes gonna break in half. Pitching coaches teach balance and control. What lincecum does works for him which is why the coaches havent adjusted his form. Fundamentally, hes poor. Skill wise, hes elite.

          • markjsunz 5 years ago

            That is your opinion. He uses every part of his body to pitch. I do not understand the wishful thinking that he has a breakdown. I guess if he was a red sox pitcher it would be a different story?

          • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

            uh, no, not for me at least. That’s why I mentioned my worry; I would be nervous every start he made if he was a RS pitcher. I have read a couple of articles (can’t reference any, I don’t remember exactly who by/where) that voiced similar doubt about his wild delivery and how that could possibly turn into a serious injury. I dunno, maybe that was a while ago and that’s not a concern anymore, I’m just saying that’s what I think of him as, and I hope it doesn’t happen, but it seems to me that in a two or three years we may have almost forgotten Lincecum as he tries to return from a major injury.

          • markjsunz 5 years ago

            We will see.

        • Guest 5 years ago

          I wouldn’t rank Carpenter with Halladay, Verlander, Lincecum, and “so
          forth”. Ferrariman, how many times have you and I ranked our top 10 pitchers
          in Major League Baseball? haha.

    • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

      Maybe, but really only a tad. Beckett is a leader for the team, is reportedly considered the captain of the pitching staff, and after ERA his numbers are pretty good. Yes, Lester may be better, but Beckett is still damn good, and qualifies to be the ace of the Boston staff. I hope he gets the extension, locking up three high quality starters will be HUGE for this team.

      • Yankees420 5 years ago

        Lester is better, by your own admission, yet Beckett is still the ace? I know I’m a biased Yanks fan, but I still see Lester as the ace and Beckett as a very good 2, and if Lackey is number 3 on your pitching staff, well then you’re sitting pretty.

        • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

          Because, while Lester may be the better pitcher, Beckett is enough of a clubhouse leader to say that he deserves the ace role. He has the competitive streak enough to win as the ace, and he is an ace on this staff in every way except numbers, and even there Lester only just beats him out. So I think that makes him our ace.

      • putzoo 5 years ago

        Beckett is better than Lester when healthy.

    • markjsunz 5 years ago

      You do not think a pitcher with a career 4.05 ERA over his red sox career should not get 15 to 20 million a year. The pitching market is very thin, if the Red Sox did not score so many runs they would be in big trouble. Yet Beckett has an almost 2to1 win to loss ratio with the red sox. Go figure?

      • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

        There are more stats than ERA. Yes he gives up a decent number of runs, but in general Beckett has had very strong numbers. I know this was already discussed on a different part of this thread, but I think you’d see if he moved out of the AL east his ERA would be closer to 3.50 at least, maybe even right around 3. Sure, we can compare stats all day long over pitchers who did just as well in the East as anywhere else (Sabathia is mentioned, although I remember his ERA did creep up a bit with the Yanks, and on the other side of the argument, I would offer another Yankees pitcher, Javier Vasquez. The true test for him will be this year, to see if he’s really a better pitcher or if the NL helped him, but he was nowhere near as dominant for New York than he has been for any National League team), but I think it seems like common sense to assume when you have a division with three of the most highly rated offenses in baseball, that pitcher’s are going to have a tough time. Even the Orioles have a decent lineup, although the Jays are going to be pretty weak in 2010. The Yanks and Red Sox will always compete with each other for the best lineup, the best rotation. That’s why projections, although never perfectly accurate, are projecting them to go 1-2 in wins this year. The Rays, in any other division, would be a serious contender for winning the division, but with the two powerhouses, they will struggle to just make Wild Card.

        Beckett will get 15 to 20 million a year whether he signs with the Red Sox or not; whether that’s just a factor of his popularity and the weak pitching market or not, that’s where the GMs value him. He’s just hitting his prime, which is still hard for me to believe, with him having been our ace for a while now. With a better defense, and if he can keep it out of the park, I could see Beckett improving for the next year or two, before beginning to slowly level out. Beckett is homer-happy, which is why his ERA can jump up. If he can feel more comfortable with the guys behind him, he may be more willing to let the hitters hit the ball, and not try to make every pitch a strikeout pitch, and maybe then keep the ball in the park.

        • markjsunz 5 years ago

          I see the Rays passing boston this year, the yankees are the favorites but the games are played on the field not paper so we will see.

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      How many times do I gotta post this?

      Since 2007:

      Greinke 553.2 IP 149 ERA+
      Halladay 710.1 IP 141 ERA+
      F. Hernandez 629.2 IP 133 ERA+
      Lackey 563.2 IP 129 ERA+
      Sabathia 593.1 IP 129 ERA+
      Beckett 587.1 IP 126 ERA+

  8. leberquesgue 5 years ago

    Why the rush for Theo? Beckett is looking excellent so far this Spring Training, maybe the contract year will be good for him. Ok, it would be folly to let him reach free agency (if you agree that he is worth keeping), but at least let him sweat it for a couple of months and take this form into the regular season.

    • 0bsessions 5 years ago

      I don’t imagine a contract year being much of a difference. 2006 was his last contract year and he was remarkably inconsistent. His first year of the new contract? He placed second in the AL Cy Young voting.

      • leberquesgue 5 years ago

        Good call; I couldn’t remember when he signed the extension and was too lazy to look it up. I think 2006 is usually attributed to issues getting used to working with Varitek, right? It seems that (with V-Mart now) is the greater concern this season than contract or not. Early signs are good.

    • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

      Actually, that’s exactly why I think they need to move fast. Beckett, while he’s a great guy, is going to want to get paid. The longer they wait, the more they’ll have to dish out. As someone else said, if he gets anywhere near approaching 10 wins by the All-Star game, he’ll be raring to get his money, and lots of it. Making the deal now, before he can make his case for a huge contract, is perfect, and it is why Theo is moving the negotiations along. I’ll bet as soon as they saw Beckett pitch well this spring, they started to get moving. As you said, I think V-Mart is the biggest concern for him this year. Again, I think the front office saw him perform well early, and decided to take the gamble and try to sign him before he has his breakout contract year, and hopefully save some money.

  9. As a yankee fan, I would much rather the yanks face beckett than Lester, or even Lackey. I think he’s one of the better pitchers in baseball (top 20 but not much higher than that.)

    • Mooks 5 years ago

      As another Yankee fan, I completely agree. I do not like seeing Lester as the probable pitcher for the night. The numbers back it up. Lester is really the only one with any success against the Yankees.

      Lifetime ERA vs. the Yanks:

      Beckett – 5.33
      Lester – 3.88
      Lackey – 4.66
      DiceK – 5.49
      Wakefield – 5.02
      Bucholz I didn’t look up because I figured the sample size would be so small.

      • overall, the top pitcher in my book would be
        1. Halladay (in the NL)
        2. Lincecum
        3. Haren
        4. CC
        5. felix
        6. Verlander
        7. Wainwright
        8. Lee
        9. Santana
        10. Lester
        Contenders :
        Greinke – I’m not sure if he can repeat his performance from last year or if it was a fluke.
        Johnson – same as greinke

        • Guest 5 years ago

          WOW

        • Ferrariman 5 years ago

          You put wainwright at #7 but omit carpenter?

          Umm…

          • Carpenter healthy is ahead, but he’s injury prone.

          • Ferrariman 5 years ago

            Stop contradicting yourself.

            If your excuse is “injury prone” then why is santana on the list? He is actually INJURED

          • It’s just my opinion, if you don’t agree you don’t have to kill me. Sorry if you think Carpenter is better than Wainwright, I personally don’t. What’s your list?

          • Ferrariman 5 years ago

            Check the forum website. I made a thread under general baseball discussion.

            And I wasn’t killing you, the list kind of baffled me.

          • For the record though, I also think Carpenter kind of disappeared after he won the cy young because he got injured. In my mind a top starter can’t be injured for basically 2 years straight. Satana only really got injured last season. Every other year since 2004 he’s started 33 games. Last year he only started 25.

        • BentoBox 5 years ago

          I think that you should put CC over Haren. Putting Lester over Greinke ? Whaaaat.
          From 2007-2009 – Greinke’s numbers
          2007 – 3.74 FIP 2.94 K/BB
          2008 – 3.56 FIP 3.27 K/BB
          2009 – 2.33 FIP 4.75 K/BB

          Lester’s
          2007 – 5.24 FIP 1.61 K/BB
          2008 – 3.64 FIP 2.30 K/BB
          2009 – 3.15 FIP 3.52 K/BB
          Plus Lester’s K/9 jumped from 6.50 to 9.96 K/BB. Whether that is a fluke or not, I dont know. He’s certainly up there in the elite category but not top 10 … YET.

          • Lester was coming back from cancer in 2007. He really was not full strength through out 2007. This numbers are progressing from that point at a rational pace.

          • ronny9 5 years ago

            It is my opinion that there are 3 levels of starting pitchers:

            Top Ace: This is where your team can show up, score 2 or 3 runs and win 90 % of the time. These are rare, in fact i estimate there are about 5 of these guys in all of MLB

            Lincecum, Halladay, King Felix, CC, Santana

            Middle tier: This is where your team can sleep at night knowing the next day there #1 (maybe #2 in some cases) starter is pitching next and they just have to show up score a few runs and outside of the opposing pitcher throwing 8 or 9 innings of 1 run ball with 15 K’s; you will be going home with a W. This is where most true aces fall in my eyes. It would be tough to rank them 1 thru 10, they are all good if not great.

            Greinke, Cliff Lee, Carpenter, Haren, Lester, Beckett, Peavy, Buehrle, Wienwright, Verlander

            Tier #3 The best of the rest: This is the Tier where any fan of any team would love to have this guy in their team’s rotation. However, for one reason or another (sample size, recent injury, getting up their in age) they just aren’t up there with the middle tier yet or anymore, depending on the individual. Again these are NOT my actual rankings, i’m just listing who i believe belongs in this section.

            Carlos Zambrano, Josh Johnson, Matt Cain, Jair Jurggens, Tim Hudson, Cole Hamels, Lackey, Oswalt, Jered Weaver, Rick Porcello

            *you guys are not going to talk me out of the fact that santana belongs here. He is shut down, he had one injury plagued season, but he’s the oldest of these guys and his track record speaks for itself. I’d take a healthy Johan Santana on my team any day of the week*

            All that being said. As a sox fan, i hope and pray that they will extend Beckett, he’s a tank and i love the guy. when he takes the ball, it is a great feeling and i can’t wait to have all three of those guys in the same rotation.

            My Guess is 5 years 90 million.

            This would work out to be 18 million avg per year. and if the sox were smart (and they usually are with the pitching side of negotiations) they will make it mostly FRONT loaded. for instance pay him 22 million in 2011, 20 million in 2012, something like that. That would make the final three years 16 million per. The reason being that if you do the simple math, the core of the long term sox team: Pedroia, Youk, Lester; have very expensive contracts in 2013 and beyond. So getting more money paid in advance of those years would be huge for thier financial flexibility for 2013 and beyond

          • ronny9 5 years ago

            obviously i meant “there are 3 categories of “ace” starting pitchers

          • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

            Great post. Obviously a couple names here and there could be up for debate, but the general idea is great. Looking at that, and seeing our top three pitchers in tiers 2 and 3, that speaks to me to how Boston is doing things right now. I think Theo is looking for quality across the board, rather than one or two phenomenal players that are surrounded by supporting roles. All five of our starting rotation could be, by the end of this year, regarded in at least tier three of your system. Beckett and Lester in tier two, and Lackey, Wakefield if he stays healthy, and Dice-K in tier three. I’m still holding out that Dice-K could become the superstar he’s been in Japan this year; we’ll see though. Also Buchholz, if he gets time to play, could erupt. Same with the lineup. There is no core #3 or #4 hitter that will terrify the opposing pitcher every day, but instead the whole lineup top to bottom has (or at least could have) extraordinary consistency. Ellsbury, Pedroia, V-Mart, Youk is a very strong first four. Youk is not going to bop 35-40 home runs, but he’s going to be consistent. Then it’s a mix of Beltre, Drew, Cameron, Scutaro, and Ortiz. There’s not a weak player there. Plenty of question marks, with Beltre, Cameron, Scutaro and Ortiz all with their own possible problems with offense, but if everything works right it’s extremely deep. Then with the plethora of outfielders in the Red Sox system, Bill Hall and V-Tek, it’s a deep bench as well. I’m excited for this year. We finally got cable back so we could watch the games 😀 I can’t wait!

        • This list is actually horrible. I will go on record and say it.

        • Congratulations, you have forced me to say it: This list is horrible.

      • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

        Haha, but that Dice-K number doesn’t really count, since that’s just Dice-K. 😉 I’m pulling for a breakout year from him this year, so watch out! 😀

  10. Yankees420 5 years ago

    Beckett is tough to call, he had a down year last year, but has been solid for the Red Sox in the past. Maybe 5/88, gotta think his agent asks for more than Lackey, but not substantially more, given their similarities in age.

    • 0bsessions 5 years ago

      I wouldn’t call ’09 a down year. Up until mid August, he was likely to finish in the top five in AL Cy Young voting. He was flat out dominant for most of the season.

      • Yankees420 5 years ago

        I guess it wasn’t as bad as I thought, I remembered he had a cold stretch, and his K/BB took a little dip, but 3.63 FIP is better than I thought he did, maybe he’ll get more like 5-6/90-100 but I know the Sox don’t like to extend pitchers for that long so I don’t see him getting a 6th year unless he tests FA.

        • 0bsessions 5 years ago

          I figure four or five at equivalent to Lackey ought to do it. From a Sox fan perspective, I’m hoping they extend him now because I can definitely see another team paying way more for him.

          • Yankees420 5 years ago

            True he could get away, and AL East proven pitching is something both the Sox and Yanks understand the value of.

    • I think he does. 5/95 to 6/107… guaranteed years seems like my bargaining chip if I was his agent (see Beckett injuries)

  11. $1529282 5 years ago

    Why not? Carpenter is flat out dominant when healthy. If you’re looking at pure talent and results, then Carpenter deserves to be in there. If you’re looking at it from the perspective of what guys you’d want on your team as a fan/GM, it may be a different story due to Carpenter’s injuries. But over the past several years, Carp’s shown that if he’s healthy he’s one of the best in the game.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      A healthy Carpenter is top 3 in the game easily. So I agree completely..

  12. nhsox 5 years ago

    Beckett is a bit inconsistent, but when he’s on, he is easily one of the last guys hitters would want to face. He started off incredibly cold last year and then took no hitters into the sixth inning twice in the same two or three starts I believe in the middle of the summer. He’s turning 30, so hes in about the prime of his career and his biggest pitfall has to be his consistency from start to start.
    That being said, for the next 5ish years, it should be expected that he will become slightly more consistent and slightly less dominant with age. He is definitely a clubhouse leader and his willingness to reach out to younger guys can make him a larger asset than his numbers may indicate.
    I never really considered who would be better between he and Carpenter, but I would rather have Beckett on my staff, especially in the long run. When either are feeling good, they’re both absolute studs but Beckett has demonstrated to this point that he is capable of staying healthy throughout the course of the season. I’d like to see the Sox get him extended for the next 4 to 5 years at about 18 per.

  13. alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

    Beckett definitely deserves more than Lackey. He should test free agency, because he could have a rebound season and be a true star again on a team where he would be the sure ace. By that I mean he would be a focal point of the team, not lost among Lackey and Lester in Boston.

    • ilikebaseball 5 years ago

      Beckett strikes me more as a guy who wants to win as much as possible, not a guy who needs to be the big star. Not to mention, Lester and Beckett are extremely close and it sounds like Beckett and Lackey have gotten to be close too. It’s not like baseball players don’t get attention in Boston, anyway…everyone on the team is a star.

      • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

        For reasons you mention and others, I think Beckett’s preference — all else being close to equal — would be to stay in Boston. Depending on how far from equal all else actually ends up being, though, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him leave.

        The definitive trend this offseason though has been for players to sign long-term now. I suspect there are legitimate fears among players & agents that the following few free agent markets will see a serious decline in salary sizes.

  14. johnsilver 5 years ago

    Beckett (when healthy) is nearly unstoppable in the post season, the undisputed leader of the Sox staff whom is looked up to by the rest of it’s members and would be a huge loss to even Lester, who may be a tad better “stuff” wise, only because of the way he handles himself.

    Beckett would be the #1 on probably 2/3 of the teams in MLB right now and Boston is just lucky that they can afford 3 starters of his caliber.

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      I think a lot can be said for the attitude and dedication of an athlete too, especially when he’ll be signing to play well into his declining years (age-wise). You want determination, focus, and will to win & excel. Hard to think of many players who embody those things better than Beckett.

  15. ronny9 5 years ago

    It is my opinion that there are 3 levels of starting pitchers:

    Top Ace: This is where your team can show up, score 2 or 3 runs and win 90 % of the time. These are rare, in fact i estimate there are about 5 of these guys in all of MLB

    Lincecum, Halladay, King Felix, CC, Santana

    Middle tier: This is where your team can sleep at night knowing the next day there #1 (maybe #2 in some cases) starter is pitching next and they just have to show up score a few runs and outside of the opposing pitcher throwing 8 or 9 innings of 1 run ball with 15 K’s; you will be going home with a W. This is where most true aces fall in my eyes. It would be tough to rank them 1 thru 10, they are all good if not great.

    Greinke, Cliff Lee, Carpenter, Haren, Lester, Beckett, Peavy, Buehrle, Wienwright, Verlander

    Tier #3 The best of the rest: This is the Tier where any fan of any team would love to have this guy in their team’s rotation. However, for one reason or another (sample size, recent injury, getting up their in age) they just aren’t up there with the middle tier yet or anymore, depending on the individual. Again these are NOT my actual rankings, i’m just listing who i believe belongs in this section.

    Carlos Zambrano, Josh Johnson, Matt Cain, Jair Jurggens, Tim Hudson, Cole Hamels, Lackey, Oswalt, Jered Weaver, Rick Porcello

    *you guys are not going to talk me out of the fact that santana belongs here. He is shut down, he had one injury plagued season, but he’s the oldest of these guys and his track record speaks for itself. I’d take a healthy Johan Santana on my team any day of the week*

    All that being said. As a sox fan, i hope and pray that they will extend Beckett, he’s a tank and i love the guy. when he takes the ball, it is a great feeling and i can’t wait to have all three of those guys in the same rotation.

    My Guess is 5 years 90 million.

    This would work out to be 18 million avg per year. and if the sox were smart (and they usually are with the pitching side of negotiations) they will make it mostly FRONT loaded. for instance pay him 22 million in 2011, 20 million in 2012, something like that. That would make the final three years 16 million per. The reason being that if you do the simple math, the core of the long term sox team: Pedroia, Youk, Lester; have very expensive contracts in 2013 and beyond. So getting more money paid in advance of those years would be huge for thier financial flexibility for 2013 and beyond

  16. ronny9 5 years ago

    obviously i meant “there are 3 categories of “ace” starting pitchers

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