Red Sox Make Four-Year Offer To Beckett

3:55pm: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe weighs in, agreeing with Olney's optimism for a deal but saying Beckett's agent currently seeks a five-year extension in excess of John Lackey's $82.5MM.  WEEI's Rob Bradford talked to Beckett, who is mostly staying out of the negotiations between the team and agent Michael Moye.

11:10am: Josh Beckett has a four-year offer on the table from the Red Sox, reports ESPN's Buster Olney.  Olney writes of "optimism a deal will be completed in the next week or two."

Olney envisions a total package in the $65-70MM range.  His colleague Gordon Edes wrote on Saturday that "concerns about Beckett's right shoulder have dissuaded the Red Sox from going to a fifth year."

Beckett projects as one of the best available free agent starters after the 2010 season, and with a strong season he could conceivably get a sixth guaranteed year on the open market.  Cliff Lee, Javier Vazquez, and Brandon Webb will also be eligible for free agency after the season if they're not signed to extesions.


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50 Comments on "Red Sox Make Four-Year Offer To Beckett"


5 years 3 months ago

Good for them.

Guest
5 years 3 months ago

Well if Beckett wanted the 5th year, expect this deal to be rejected.

NL_East_Rivalry
5 years 3 months ago

Red Sox made their move, let’s see what Lackey does. It all depends on how much leverage he thinks he holds. He definitely deserves more than Lackey, but Lackey did get a special deal. Gotta love the drama.

jhd5787
5 years 3 months ago

They gotta just pony up and give him the lackey/Burnett deal. I would hate to see him pitching for another team. Although statistically he is on par with lackey, i feel he is a better pitcher. Beckett goes on these tears where for 6-10 starts in a row he is arguably the best in baseball. See his numbers in the month leading up to the all star break last year.

Fangaffes
5 years 3 months ago

I like their (potential) strategy here. Any pitcher can blow out his arm at any time. Offer him 4 years now. If he takes it, great. If not, see if he makes it to August intact before offering him 5 years.

jhd5787
5 years 3 months ago

I agree that waiting til august wouldn’t be a bad idea, but i thought I read
somewhere that he didnt want to deal with the extension mid season. Either
way i hope the guy remains in boston. Lackey has been on the DL a whole
bunch and they game him the 5 year plan.

Guest
5 years 3 months ago

Umm..everyday that goes by from here on out, the risk factor shifts from all Red Sox, to Beckett. By August, Beckett could be looking at retirement. Who the hell knows. He is flat out stupid if he turns this deal down.

Guest
5 years 3 months ago

and then see him numbers after the all star break…

bosox2k47
5 years 3 months ago

I’d like to see how its structured, 17.5 per or start high and finish low? Does anyone think that there will be some medical clauses in there like we saw with Lackey?

horatioalgae
5 years 3 months ago

He’d be a fool not to accept that deal. That’s guaranteed money and who knows what shape the national economy will be in that time frame, much less what kind of shape his arm will be in.

BaseballFan0707
5 years 3 months ago

Both New York teams would like to have a word with you about how much they care about the economy in regards of signing Beckett.

Hint: They don’t.

nhsox
5 years 3 months ago

If a respectable extension is on the table like the 4/65 to 70, that would be hard to walk away from considering that he could lose it all with an injury. If he does get hurt, potentially by no fault of his own, he would likely be looking at signing 1 year 7ish million dollar deals like Erik Bedard until he can prove that he can stay healthy again. Besides, if this deal comes with an option, he could end up with around 5/85 or even 6/100 while GUARANTEEING 70 million now.
I don’t necessarily think he’s going to get hurt this season or experience a decline in his numbers, but baseball games aren’t played in a vacuum. People get hurt, especially pitchers with preexisting health concerns.

johnsilver
5 years 3 months ago

Not hardly. All Beckett would need to do is put up 2010 numbers that he has from any one year of 2007-2009 and NYY for one will be floating 20M per at at least 4 years at him. teams that have some cash, or desperately need to get back into contention, like the NYM that was already mentioned above? Same thing.

This guy is a work horse who may have lost 2-3mph off of his FB, but knows how to get people out still with a better than league average FB to go along with his curve and change up.

he takes a 4yr 60-70M deal and it is loyalty. Nothing less.

Some teams in the higher payroll bracket don’t have that, their top players are paid huge sums and expect it, not so in Boston, they actually take lesser amounts quite often to remain.

mikecarlucci
5 years 3 months ago

They could always put in an easily attainable 5th year based on starts and hope the shoulder doesn’t go bad after right after it vests. If he’s healthy I’m sure they’d want him for that 5th year.

Guest
5 years 3 months ago

Maybe they should give him a vesting option based on not only on a certain number of innings he pitched throughout those 4 seasons but also how many he pitched in that 4th year.

BaseballFan0707
5 years 3 months ago

I was going to post exactly this. There’s not much reason not to give him such an opportunity. It sets a REALLY bad precedent when you’re willing to give a guy like Lackey 5 years (I understand that whole extra year at minimum thing, but that doesn’t change much for my opinion), but not give Beckett at least the chance to earn a 5th year at 15 mil.

Guest
5 years 3 months ago

Plus Lackey’s arm/elbow isn’t the healthiest arm/elbow in it’s own right.

ilikebaseball
5 years 3 months ago

You’re right. But the Sox worry about Beckett’s shoulder, which is much harder to come back from than an elbow. I absolutely agree that they should give him some kind of option though.

empathizerightonyourbehind
5 years 3 months ago

“internal discussions with the cardinals have them discussing whether or not josh beckett’s extension could be used as model for a deal to keep pujols in st. louis. this is news.”–buster olney.

Ferrariman
5 years 3 months ago

the redsox are also having internal discussions about trading kevin youkalis for albert pujols reports peter gammons.

empathizerightonyourbehind
5 years 3 months ago

that is news!

elclashcombo
5 years 3 months ago

ha ha ha!

StarF_er
5 years 3 months ago

Now that is a funny post. If true, those discussions will remain internal because Theo would hear a dial tone shortly after making that offer. You AL East fans are delusional.

Ferrariman
5 years 3 months ago

my guess is that the deal includes an opt out clause after 2 years so he can join the depleted starting pitching free agent class in 2011-2012 which is headlined with…well…edwin jackson.

(buerhle said he will resign with the sox or retire)

Guest
5 years 3 months ago

How about our good friend Wandy Rodriguez?

johnsilver
5 years 3 months ago

CC sabathia also has an opt-out after 2011, not that anyone is going to pay him more than the 23M per season he would get if he were to do so and walk away from the last 5 years and 115M left on his contract…

Ferrariman
5 years 3 months ago

its not 5 year and 115.

its 4 year and 93. i can see him walking away from that as he would still be relatively young and able to snag another 6 year deal for slightly lower AAV.

nhsox
5 years 3 months ago

The Yanks have also set a precedent of putting up with arrogant, highly paid players who opt out of their deal and demand outrageous amounts of money into their 40s. If he’s healthy, that seems like a solid plan to me. Just think, he can have a 3000 k clause, win milestone clauses, and all the money can be guaranteed so if he blows a knee out on his 300 pound frame, he can still get paid.

Rich_in_NJ
5 years 3 months ago

No one knows the state of Beckett’s health better than he does. If he is confident about the state of his shoulder, he should probably hold out for a fifth year.

BoSoxSam
5 years 3 months ago

Sorry, but I disagree with that. Sure, he may know best -right now- what state his shoulder is in, but he has no way of knowing how it will feel in 4, 5 years. Not saying anybody else knows either, but I would figure some experienced doctors with all the information would have a better gauge on how long his shoulder will last than he does.

Threat_Level_RedSox
5 years 3 months ago

If beckett excepts the deal then he, lackey and lesters contracts could potentially end after the 2014 season. Odd stradegy for theo who could lose 3 starting pitchers in one off season, kind of has 2004 writen all over it.

Guest
5 years 3 months ago

Funny you mention that. I was just thinking the same thing. I think we’ve witnessed that Epsteins strong side does not lean towards having good foresight. If he did the Sox would be nowhere near the mess they are in now. Aside my rants about how much I dislike Esptein, Beckett is a damn good pitcher. Part of me is surprised to see how successful he has been. I’m sure the Marlins did not forecast these types of results for him over the years. That said, I am definitely concerned about Becketts long term health. Theo is in a bit of pickle here, yet again. He can’t and should not sign him to a 5 or 6 year deal. For all of you above that think this guy easily get’s 5 or even 6 years on the open market are completely dillusional. From who? This guy has 3 or 4 years max written all over him. The Sox really did themselves an injustice when they sign Lackey for what and how long they did. They not only were the only bid for lackey, they essentially created their own pitching market internally, which subsequently was too high. I just don’t understand Red Sox managements strategy, but hey, perhaps I’m not supposed to.

We shouldn’t compare AJ Burnetts contract. I am a Yank fan and I love everything they do and how they do it, but they clearly over paid for Burnett and Sabathia. The Sabathia contract does not bother me as much. The point is, these are the Yanks problems. Let’s all keep in mind that the best pitcher in baseball just signed a 3 year extension for $60mm.

ReverendBlack
5 years 3 months ago

wordswordswordsIHateTheRedSoxwordswordswords

nhsox
5 years 3 months ago

I’d look to see Lester’s contract get re-structured well before it expires. He is and will continue to be one of the best lefties in the game for a long time barring injury. Lackey and Beckett will be more expendable. If Beckett signs, he’ll probably retire a member of the Red Sox as he will probably sign another gentleman’s extension to stay in Boston.

Another thing to consider is that Beckett’s deal may have options that we are not yet aware of.

Sawksfan
5 years 3 months ago

Lester would probably be resigned before then since he’d be around 30. Beckett would be 33 and Lackey 35, and by then Buchholz and Kelly would be entrenched in the rotation anyways. Plus Theo would probably land a young arm somewhere. No big worry.

ReverendBlack
5 years 3 months ago

Even a mediocre season sees Beckett get AT LEAST this caliber offer on the market. The better his season, the better the offer will be than this one. Someone will go 5 years.

Here’s hoping he signs, though.

ronny9
5 years 3 months ago

Pretty sure that there was a guy who said that he would sign a deal worth around 18 million per year for 4 years. That guy also said something about it being a team friendly deal (which if this goes thru it seems like above you are admitting that this is the case); and you disagreed about that as well.

Well Beckett signing 4 years ago for the same as Jon Garland was team freindly; and Beckett (if it goes thru) signing for less than AJ Burnett at the same points in their careers is another team friendly deal. This still could completely fall thru; so lets all keep this in mind, but all signs point to the fact that he will sign a team friendly deal again this year.

Beckett, Lester, Lackey all signed for the next 5 years… what a dream about to come true.

ReverendBlack
5 years 3 months ago

Now now – you’re not posting for the sole purpose of calling someone wrong, are you? Somebody told me that was rude.

Signing for 4 year deal is not a hometown discount. Does it benefit the team, especially compared to a 5-year deal? Certainly. But he won’t be doing the Sox a favor so much as protecting himself from the risks of waiting another year. There’s a difference between “team-friendly” and “mutually beneficial”.

When you account for all the standard, elevated risks of a starting pitcher injury-wise, you add to those Beckett’s history, and then you account for the market he’d be headed into next year … security makes sense.

Look around. Spectacular, best-in-the-game talent — even YOUNG talent — has been resigning long-term extensions across the board this offseason. It isn’t a coincidence. Agents seem to be operating on a fairly uniform theory: next year and for a few years after, the money will probably not be getting better – maybe worse.

So the wishy washy among us have a great opportunity now to pretend that all these contracts are Hometown Discounts, wheeee baseball. Go ahead. But really, they’re about security. Like Mauer’s monster contract, Beckett’s is likely less than he could get if he had a good season. But he’s hedging against his risks and taking the security now.

Maybe he loves Boston; that’d be nice. But it’s not necessary for him to make such a decision. A desire for security is. That’s the deciding factor.

colorblindjimbo
5 years 3 months ago

I like the 4 years at a higher yearly salary vs. a 5 year deal. I still feel that 4 years at 15-17 million a season (as reported by ESPN), is pretty steep for a guy who hasn’t really been THAT good since 2007. That home run rate is right back up there these past two years.

BoSoXaddict
5 years 3 months ago

4 years/70 mil sounds good to me, hope Beckett takes it. If not, they should bump it up to 75..still worth it.

mysoxlookgoodred
5 years 3 months ago

I believe that the Red Sox have one of if not the best medical staff in all of professional sports and because of this Lackey is in better hands in boston than LA in regards to health. This being said, with a supporting staff like boston I think Lackey has the potential to be worth every penny hes earning. Do I think he could have signed for less? yes. Do I think Beckett is entitled to just as much money? yes. However, keep in mind in the next few years we will need to taking Ellsbury, Bucholtz, Bard, Reddick, Kelly off control of the Red Sox and giving them free market money. Theo has made it known that he intends not to have a Yankee type salary. These “older guys” can’t be getting large contracts if the sox intend to sign all these younger guys in the next 5 years.

BoSoXaddict
5 years 3 months ago

“However, keep in mind in the next few years we will need to taking Ellsbury, Bucholtz, Bard, Reddick, Kelly off control of the Red Sox and giving them free market money. Theo has made it known that he intends not to have a Yankee type salary. These “older guys” can’t be getting large contracts if the sox intend to sign all these younger guys in the next 5 years.”

I don’t think it’s gonna be a problem because Theo isn’t planning on signing any of those guys in the short-term and possibly only a few of them in the long-term. They’ve already shown reluctance to have long-term deal talks with Jacoby for several reasons, one of them being Boras. Buchholz is still possible trade-bait for a big bat for another year or two, even more so if Beckett is extended. Kelly doesn’t appear to be going anywhere and could very well be in the rotation in 2012 but he’s still got 5 more years under team control. Bard could get a deal I imagine in a few years if Papelbon leaves, but nothing huge. Reddick is probably traded in the next few years but if he emerges and even if he’s the left fielder once Cameron’s contract is up there’s just way too many variables to plan for signing him right now. In other words, I don’t think any of these theoretical future singings could really impact a Beckett deal in the present.

Guest
5 years 3 months ago

alright there METSvilleslugger… your team knows all about that…. you and your DL of a team are just the rotten core of the Big Apple.

Threat_Level_RedSox
5 years 3 months ago

loseing pedro and lowe after 04 wouldnt have been so bad if schilling was healthy in 2005 and I dont see them signing lackey or beckett at that age unless lester is injured.
That being said lester could leave for a bigger deal if the red sox try to short change him, which they have a history of doing.

Any way a five year deal for beckett could have some of the same injury clauses as lackeys deal and he may not like that (2014 for league minimum if siginifigant time is mist). this deal could allow him to get top dollar for four years and take a risk for a fifth. even if he’s injured he could get 8 mil, ben sheets got 10 and he missed all of 2009

nhsox
5 years 3 months ago

Personally, I was surprised to see that Burnett’s deal would be used as a legitimate precedent in the first place. Signing a guy who had pitched 3 full seasons out of a possible 10 to any type of long term deal seemed like something only the Yankees would have the luxury of doing. If he’s healthy, hes not overpaid, but I thought this signing especiall was a knee jerk reaction by the Yankees organization for not making the playoffs.
In many respects, Lackey is lucky that the consensus around baseball was that he was entitled to a Burnett like deal because given his injury history, Burnett didn’t seem to be worth a Burnett like deal.

Threat_Level_RedSox
5 years 3 months ago

Value of the options could be a problem, would they be the same amount as the average annual salary or would they escalate. i could see the sox have a vesting option for the same annual salary but not to a higher salary. after all their worried about his rotater cuff and that can blow out with little to no warning signs. It would be better to pay 16-17 mil then 19-20 mil for him at age 35.

Maybe theirs a signing bonus of good value, 5-6 mil plus some perks like private flights and hotel accommodations, i believe mike lowell had a few of those when he resigned with the sox.

Threat_Level_RedSox
5 years 3 months ago

The reason they gave lackey the money they did is they viewed him as haveing elbow issues, which are easer to come back from. thats also why they put a clause in his contract for him to pitch for league minimum in 2015 if he has tommy john surgery. Its unclear why the sox believe beckett may have a rotater cuff problem in the future, so they are being careful by giving only 4 year offer. I would think a higher annual salary and 1 or 2 options would get the job done if beckett wanted to prove he was healthy, but carl pavano would of never made any money that way so he might not want to risk it if he could get a 5-6 year contract as a free agent.

Maybe they could just add in some perks and a signing bonus to get past that fifth year.
Just hope he doesnt switch to scott borass

KenJr1918
5 years 3 months ago

It’s really not that hard to understand. Teams that are in “win now mode”, will often back load contracts in order to obtain optimum talent for a playoff/WS run. When it works, it looks great. When it doesn’t, you’re the Houston Astros.

KenJr1918
5 years 3 months ago

I agree to a point, but you’re not taking possible luxury tax implications into account.

KenJr1918
5 years 3 months ago

So let me throw out a hypothetical. Team A is currently within 15 million dollars of the luxury tax. However, they want to sign a top tier starter. This starter will command a 20 million annual salary over the course of we’ll say 4 years. Team A has 3 aging players on the downswing that will come of the books in 2 years. What do you think is more prudent, back loading this pitchers contract, or front loading it?

I agree with you in principle, but contracts aren’t signed in a vacuum. The idea to front load contracts cannot be a one size fits all model.