SUNDAY, 8:04pm: The Beckett extension talks are in the final stages, a source told Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. The source "insisted" that the deal is not yet complete.
The Red Sox did not offer the soon-to-be 30-year-old a fifth year, though Beckett did not insist upon it. The source said that the righty will receive "[John] Lackey money", despite having a shorter deal. If Beckett receives a four-year deal at the same rate as Lackey, it will be worth $70.5MM in total.
Interestingly, there is no language in the contract that affords the BoSox protection in the event that Beckett has shoulder issues.
WEDNESDAY, 8:34pm: Scott Lauber passes along word from his Boston Herald colleague Michael Silverman that the value of the contract will be $68MM over four years, according to Silverman's "sources familiar with the negotiations." ESPN's Gordon Edes adds from a Red Sox source that the team is "making progress," but the source was unsure when the deal would be completed.
5:05pm: Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman is reporting that Josh Beckett and the Red Sox "are closing in" on a four-year extension for the right-hander worth close to $70MM. Heyman says the deal should be announced early next week, since by waiting to finalize the contract until after Opening Day, Boston will save some money under the luxury tax.
If the deal ends up being four years in length, it will represent a victory for the Red Sox, who didn't want to make any longer of a commitment due to some concern over Beckett's throwing shoulder.