Red Sox, Beckett Sign Four-Year Extension

The Red Sox signed Josh Beckett to a four-year extension, the team announced today. The deal, which is worth $68MM, pays Beckett a $5MM signing bonus and salaries of $15.75MM from 2011-14. The right-hander also has a clause blocking trades to three teams, two of which he can choose. After the 2011 season, Beckett should have ten and five rights which will allow him to veto any trade.'s Ian Browne first reported the deal's value, after ESPNBoston's Gordon Edes suggested it would approach $70MM. Alex Speier of added the yearly breakdown (via Twitter) and Jon Heyman of explained the deal's no-trade protection (via Twitter).

As Heyman notes (via Twitter), the Red Sox save on luxury tax spending by completing the deal after the season's start. The extension gives the team control of Beckett, John Lackey, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz through 2014, as Speier notes (via Twitter).

Beckett was set to hit free agency after the season, so the contract averages out to $17MM per year for four free agent years. That's slightly less than what Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez got for the free agent years covered under their newly-signed extensions. It's more per year than the $16.5MM Lackey signed for last winter and, unlike Lackey's contract, Beckett's deal doesn't include injury protection for the Red Sox, according to Edes.

57 Responses to Red Sox, Beckett Sign Four-Year Extension Leave a Reply

  1. loeres 5 years ago

    does that make sense? he wanted a bit more than lackey over 5 and they gave him 4 for the same money? wouldnt it make more sense to take a bit of a risk an get him for like 73/5?

  2. elclashcombo 5 years ago

    honestly, this is a total crapshoot. we know what kind of talent Beckett has but the lack-of-consistency is starting to get the better of his overall picture.

    still think itll be a good deal and an obvious move on Theo’s part.

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Hate to say it, but I agree. Beckett bounces from ace to a number 3 pitcher in a heartbeat. But if they all pitch to their potential then Beckett, Lester, Lackey will be one of the toughest 1-2-3 punches in baseball.

  3. I bet he was quick to agree after last nights start, though the deal was all ready in place. The sox now have Beckett, Lester and Lackey locked up for the next five years, plus buchholz for 6, and Dice-K for 3, at a total of about 45 million a year for the best rotation in baseball

    • j6takish 5 years ago

      I don’t see Buchholz sticking around too long

      • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

        Strongly agree. Here comes a bat.

        • BK 5 years ago

          Wrong. This is indicative of their desire to keep Bucholz. Now they pretty much need to fill their 5 with a league minimum guy like Bucholz.

          • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

            You think giving another player an extension indicates an intention to keep Buchholz? Would not extending him indicate something else? I see no connection.

            Practically speaking, securing Beckett makes it far easier to trade Buchholz for obvious reasons. Also obvious is a desire for a power bat. Also obvious is market interest in Buchholz and an already-demonstrated willingness to trade him.

            There are no guarantees; this by no means seals any deal. But it puts the Red Sox in a far more stable position should they choose to trade him. The idea that this makes him any less likely to be trades is bizarrely wrongheaded.

      • juddb 5 years ago

        I think Buchholz will stick around to fill the 5 slot because Wake won’t be around too long to fill that spot after this season

  4. DarthVader87 5 years ago

    I wonder what Tito will ask Theo for next off season. He says pitching every year, but I don’t think that will work anymore with this going down.

    • care_bear 5 years ago

      How bout a long relief pitcher who is consistent?

  5. ReverendBlack 5 years ago

    That is one expensive pitching staff.

  6. Yankeefan4life 5 years ago

    This pretty much makes it an all out bidding war for Lee.

  7. bosox2k47 5 years ago

    I love this deal for both sides, now you dont have to worry about hurting Beck’s feelings when he gets shifted to the # 2 or 3 starter. I also think that Buch will be wearing a Brewers cap by 08/01/10 and Prince will be smacking balls off the Monstah

  8. Fangaffes 5 years ago

    After last night’s spectacular outing, how could they not sign him?

    Looks like the Yankees will be shelling out for Lee next winter.

    • jdub220 5 years ago

      …Because one bad game paints an accurate picture of Beckett, right? Of course.

    • East Coast Bias 5 years ago

      I think the Mets take Lee, and Yanks go all in for Crawford or Werth instead. Depends a lot on how well Hughes does this year, imo.

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Oh please. First start of the season against the best hitting team… yeah, accurate representation of the season. If I was you I’d be more worried about Sabathia’s performance against a team that stresses defense. Or can we both agree that the first start of the season is usually meaningless.

      • Fangaffes 5 years ago

        Did everyone lose their sense of humor over the winter? It was a joke fer chrissakes!

        I’m all for the Beckett signing.

      • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

        “Or can we both agree that the first start of the season is usually meaningless.”

        Ding ding.

        But how friggen awesome is it that baseball is back? Love this time of year.

    • 080808 5 years ago

      check out the pitchf/x last night.
      Joe West really screwed up the height of the strike zone. I felt he’s one of the best umpires in the crew (just look at the someone in the first base last night). maybe umpires need sometime in April, too.

      he didn’t call anything under the belt.. no way he can throw curves for the strike.
      I just wondered if AJ showed up last night. what was going to happen?

  9. bigpupp 5 years ago

    So much for the “Beckett won’t take a discount” people. Only 4 years is an outstanding deal for the Red Sox

    • bosox2k47 5 years ago


    • Mr__Bill 5 years ago

      I’m not sure he took much of a discount. He’s getting $17 million a year over the next four. Maybe he would have gotten a better offer in the offseason, but I think the market for pitching isn’t what it used to be. The Burnett deal became a benchmark, but for players who are better than Burnett. Don’t forget the fact that he’s buying out an awful lot of risk – if he’s going to test the market then he needs to get through this season healthy and effectively, something that is far from guaranteed.

    • ronny9 5 years ago

      THANK YOU!!!! I posted something like “beckett wants to win and compete and will take a team friendly deal again if the price is right for him” and i got jumped all over b/c i didn’t know anything about baseball and so on..

      Anyways: this is absolutely a team friendly deal I don’t care what anyone says, Josh Beckett is a proven veteran pitcher who whether he has his best stuff or not will come out and grind for your ballclub each time out. He has both experience in the AL East and the postseason. This guy on the open market would have scored at least 80 million and probably more; some desperate team (the mets come to mind) would have guaranteed the guy 5 years at least at 17 million maybe 18 or 19per year. That would work out to be somewhere from 85 to 95 million for 5 years, yet there will be some no it all that posts after me that there is no way this is a team friendly deal.

      The difference at bear minimum is 17 million guaranteed; that is a team friendly deal, there really is no debate here…

    • bjsguess 5 years ago

      This is only a discount if Beckett pitches well this year. If he logs 150 innings with an ERA above 4 I doubt he would have gotten more next year.

      That said, he is a fairly safe bet to do better than that in innings pitched and ERA. Good move by the Red Sox.

  10. BoSoxSam 5 years ago

    Am I the only one that hopes Buch will stay? Heh. Okay, maybe I’m not. I do see the high likelihood that they will trade for a bat, and Buch will have to be part of that. But here’s me hoping they don’t. Then again, if Kelly plays the way he’s supposed to do, and does well in a September callup, who knows, he could be replacing Buch in 2011. Damn, that’d be exciting.

    Oh, and this is a great deal for Boston. I love it. Nice to see Beckett willing to take a discount to stay with his home team. Once he gets his curveball back on track, I think he’ll be dominant this year.

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      I very seriously doubt Kelly seeing any innings of significance before 2012.

      • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

        Kelly will probably get a start before the end of the year, maybe even pitching in relief in September depending on the standings, what Tito thinks, and the number of innings he pitches in the minors. Then I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start 2011 in Pawtucket and basically be the first guy to step in when there’s an injury… all of this is of course assuming the best case scenario for Kelly’s development.

  11. RichMahogany 5 years ago

    Four years for a 30-YO with a good track record in the AL East at Burnett/Lackey money – it’s a solid signing.

  12. 04Forever 5 years ago

    sexy move by the red sox, no problems with the first three pitchers in the starting rotation for the next 4 years atleast

    • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

      make that four if Dice-K rebounds this year.

      • ELPinchy 5 years ago

        I have more faith in Tek converting to a pitcher at the moment than I do in Dice-K.

        • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

          Funny, but why? He’s no front-ender, but he doesn’t need to be. Healthy, he’s a pretty excellent 4th starter.

          • LawUSA87 5 years ago

            Health being the key determining factor he has been great for us in the past but the last 12 months has not done anything to really wow me other then to say wow this guy has officially lost it, although with that said IF he can get healthy again he can easily win 13-16 games as a no. 4 and with that many wins as a no. 4 look out. (wishful thinking played about 20% of this post.)

        • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

          That’s a silly thing to say now. Dice-K has shown signs of improvement off of 2009, plus most of his performance last year was hindered by physical difficulties. If he even just brings his game back to 2008 levels, he’s going to be a kick-ass #4.

  13. dickylarue 5 years ago

    Major props to the Red Sox for pulling this off. I hate the Red Sox with a passion, but Theo must have a Jedi working in the front office waving their hand in front of Beckett’s face saying, “You will take less money and years than Lackey”….”You won’t demand a fifth year”….while Beckett repeats it back in a trance.

    It’s so rare that the a #1 starter ever makes it to free agency these days. CC might be the last one to get there for quite some time since teams now realize what these guys are worth and how you’re constantly trying to acquire one as soon as you lose one.

    Beckett could have cashed in big time. I thought the Mets, Rangers and Cubs would all have made major bids for him, but clearly he didn’t want to go to any of those teams.

    He took a home town discount. End of story.

  14. jlasovage 5 years ago

    you have to love a 17 mil deal is hometown discount. but love the signing anyways. this needed to get done and now the rotation is set for 4 yrs with still alot of money coming of the books next year. this keeps the sox a powerful force for awhile. great move

  15. LifeLongYankeeFan 5 years ago

    I’m not just saying this because I’m a Yankee fan but I don’t see Lee picking the Mets over the Yankees if the Yankees do go after him. If this is Pettittes last year they will go hard after Lee and everyone already knows the Yankees are going hard after Crawford.

    • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

      I agree. I’m worried about playing NY next year, because they look primed to spend another $400 million. It’s grossly extravagant, and I hate it every time they do it, but it makes for a damn good ballclub. Crawford and Lee will be scary good improvements to their team. Things seem to just be lining up the way they want it for the next year or two.

      • dickylarue 5 years ago

        The Yankees will easily spend $400 million on free agents this season. They’ll most likely spend more. They have to resign Mo and Jeter and then resign or replace Pettitte and Javy Vasquez who are both free agents.

        There should be no outrage about what they spend when you have to resign or replace 2/5ths of your rotation, your Hall of Fame closer and your Hall of Fame SS.

        Are people going to forget what it cost to resign/extend Beckett when tallying up all the money the Red Sox spend? Probably, because the media slants that way. It’s not a good story unless it’s about the Yankees spending.

        • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

          The reason it’s a story when the Yanks spend is because they spend $400 million. Or more, as you said. Boston has its sprees, but it’s never been that extravagant. Beckett was extended for a mere $68m, and Lackey was signed for only a reasonable $82.5m. Obviously there’s sarcasm there, but the point remains. In one of their bigger spending years, Red Sox didn’t get close to even breaking $300m. If the Yanks want to overspend to keep Mo and Jeter, go for it. Yes, maintaining the team they have will cost them 400m+. But again, the point remains that they’re the only team that can do that. Even the Sox would never be able to maintain resigning most of the aforementioned players, plus sign the next set of big fish in Crawford and Lee.

        • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

          Far from objectionable, paying for top talent is admirable. Overpaying, however, is not. The question of how and on what the Yankees spend all their cash leaves plenty of room for scrutiny and debate.

          I disagree with anyone who objects or is outraged by the Yankees’ spending in and of itself, though. Sox fans, especially, I suppose.

    • LawUSA87 5 years ago

      Im not saying this because I am a Red Sox fan but it would be great if he stayed in Seattle with King Felix.

      • LifeLongYankeeFan 5 years ago

        Alright and I’m not just saying this because I’m a Yankees fan but it would have been great if John Lackey stayed with the Angels. The only 2 players I want to see play their whole careers with the team they came up with are Joe Mauer and Albert Pujols.

  16. Montero1220 5 years ago

    Beckett is going on a decline and he knows it. It was a smart move for him but I don’t see him winning more that 13 games this year. He inconsistency will be his downfall.

    Lester will become the new ace of the BoSox. Possibly Cy Young.

    I still don’t see them winning the division over the Yanks. Perfect Rotation but crappy offense and bullpen. They can sweep the season series against us but I don’t see them contending in the postseason as these “predictions” say they will.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      bad bullpen? huh?

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      Against “us” lol

    • BentoBox 5 years ago

      Crappy offense.
      I know its really really small sample size but hey look they were able to score 9 runs last night !

    • LawUSA87 5 years ago

      Say the yanks still take the division our top 3 starters still run circles around the yanks.

  17. Just_MLB 5 years ago

    the yanks will have to re-up Jeter/Mariano…spend more on Cano…spend more on Crawford. Not sure if they are going to spend the lux tax and Lee’s 20 mil plus. to essentially be a #2 starter with a potential 1-2-3 punch of CC-AJ-Hughes already in place for 2011.

    the mets may be competing for his services. it will be interesting.

    2nd base may be manned by tejada in the near future.
    1st base may be manned by davis in the near future.
    CF may be manned by F-Mart in the near future.
    C may be manned by Thole in the near future.
    CP may be manned by Mejia in the near future.

    the mets may be in position to throw an extra 5-10 mil at a starter like Lee.

    • LifeLongYankeeFan 5 years ago

      Good point on Lee but if Pettitte does retire they will go hard after either Lee or theres always Brandon Webb. At least I think they will but I hope they go get Crawford because he would be great for them.

  18. Just_MLB 5 years ago

    webb/oswalt are excellent options if available. plus they keep the price on lee in check. esp if lee doesnt have a cy young type year or is injured. that opens the floodgates.
    you want to leave that flexibility in your payroll in the event people get injured.
    i just think that the plan is to rotate beltran/castillo out and replace their combined salaries ( 25 mil ) with young talent from the farm. They have already replaced Delgado’s 14 mil with young / cheap talent. so in a matter of a few years, almost 40 mil has been replaced. that 40 mil can be re-invested into the starting rotation.

    the yanks for different reasons are not rotating jeter/mariano/posada out. Pettitte is only making x amount…alot less than last year. so his leaving doesnt affect payroll.
    the only places to replace are in the corner OF…middle relief….

    if Montero can replace Posada…I can totally see the yanks going after Werth AND Crawford. making their lineup almost completely untouchable.

    1 – Crawford
    2 – Jeter
    3 – Tex
    4 – A-Rod
    5 – Cano
    6 – Werth
    7 – Montero
    8 – Granderson
    9 – DH

    Im not a yankee fan but that lineup is sick

    • Yankees420 5 years ago

      Pettitte is actually making more than last year.

  19. LifeLongYankeeFan 5 years ago

    That’s a good point as well. Citi field is definitely more of a pitching park then Yankee Stadium but if Cliff Lee pitches like he did in Philidelphia it won’t matter where he pitches. However, I also don’t mind seeing him pitch one more year because while Lee looks like the real deal before the 2008 season he was just an average pitcher who had his good years and his bad ones. I just don’t think that seeing if he can pitch for one more year like an ace would hurt.

  20. bebopster 5 years ago

    Yes, BUT the whole idea of being able to buy a baseball team is overplayed. The Mets try, and fail. It does take some level of skill. Look at the Yanks farm system and depth. Two things the Mets are sorely lacking. There’s a reason they were ranked number one of Fangraphs. The downside is in 5 years they will have an older Tex and an older A-Rod–that’s the price they pay. It’s not like there’s NO downside to their spending sprees, in fact they’re highly risky.

  21. bebopster 5 years ago

    What I meant by sorely lacking is that the Mets –while they do have some fine prospects — dont have decent players surrounding that. And Montero is considered the best hitting prospect now that Heyward is in the ML — so no, not every team has a Montero.
    And the reason the Mets have so many holes is because of an incompetent GM, not because of the Wilpons. And the next gen of Steinbrenners have taken over..
    Im not saying it takes MORE skill to build the Yankees per say, but it is at least as much of a challenge. They are just playing in a different ballpark (no pun intended).

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