Dodgers righty Josh Beckett said today that he will retire from the game, as MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. The 34-year-old was slated for surgery on his torn left hip labrum, but will not attempt to work back from the injury.
Beckett was having an excellent season before he was stricken with another significant injury. He owned a 2.88 ERA through 115 2/3 frames, striking out 8.3 and walking 3.0 batters per nine. Though his numbers were propped up somewhat by a .257 BABIP and 85.2% strand rate, Beckett’s stuff was good enough that he managed to record the first and only no-hitter of his career.
It has been a memorable career for Beckett, who won the 2003 World Series MVP with the Marlins at just 23 years of age. By that time, he had already established himself as one of the best young starters in baseball. But by the winter of 2005, he was headed to the Red Sox (along with Mike Lowell) in exchange for a package including future stars Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez.
Beckett had an up-and-down tenure in Boston. Over 2006-11, he averaged 185 innings a year with a 4.04 ERA and 8.2 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9. But he mixed in three All-Star campaigns, including a 2007 effort (3.27 ERA over 204 2/3) in which he was the Cy Young runner-up.
Beckett ultimately signed two extensions with Boston: a three-year, $30MM deal that included a $12MM vesting option and a four-year, $68MM pact that ran through 2014. Of course, the latter contract did not end as might have been hoped at the time. After playing a central role in the public’s dissection of Boston’s 2011 meltdown, Beckett was off to a rough start in 2012 when his contract became part of the massive Red Sox-Dodgers mid-season trade.
Though he may have delivered more value back to Los Angeles than seemed likely at the time of that swap, Beckett continued to be inconsistent. He threw well down the stretch in 2012 before scuffling through an injury-plagued 2013.
Things ended on a high note, of course, and Beckett will leave the game having contributed 35.3 rWAR and 39.0 fWAR to his clubs. For that production, he earned over $116MM. MLBTR wishes Beckett the best of luck in whatever endeavors he chooses to pursue now that his playing days are over.
Really unfortunate luck with injuries, good luck in retirement!
I have such strange feelings about Beckett. Loved him at the start and especially in 2007, but couldn’t stand him by the end.
Then again, that’s how I feel about… most people.
Yeah I hear you on that. Still a ring is a ring and he was probably the most important player (pitcher for sure) on that 2007 team. I’m going to choose to remember him as the guy from game 1 and 5 of the LCS and game 1 of the World Series that year. Remember he had some big shoes to fill; we were all looking for the next Pedro or Clemens
I could see Beckett attempt a comeback after a year off. Might be better off in the pen as a closer if he does.
His favorite position is the 60 Day DL.
Another member of that 2001 debut class retires, joining Lyle Overbay and probably Adam Dunn, following last year’s Roy Oswalt retirement. Now all that’s left would be Brian Roberts, Ichiro Suzuki, Albert Pujols, and CC Sabatia, unless I’m forgetting someone. Roberts might be done, too, though.
Keep forgetting Pujols has been around that long
The Angels forgot he had been around that long too.
I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him. Beckett is good enough to where teams would at least call about a minor league contract.
My guess is he will recover in peace for 2015, maybe do the ESPN or MLB Network tour, then start training somewhere in 2016. I doubt he’s throwing away the cleats just yet.
We all know how much he “enjoys” his recovery time from injuries, so maybe this is just his version of a stress free personal break
He’s worth a lot more than a minor league deal, Ryan Madson got 2 years worth of MLB contract offers by teams hoping he’d return healthy, I’m sure Beckett would get a $5M/1yr deal + incentives done with a team hoping for him to return to form once his health returns.
I agree, though I do believe at this point that he honestly thinks he is done for good. The nice thing about his situation is that he could wake up one morning 2 years from now, decide he misses the game, commit to getting back into playing shape, and still be plenty young enough to have a realistic shot. And if that desire never hits him he’ll know he made the right choice.
He’s done. His competitive fire went out long ago
Agreed. In the 2007 ALCS he looked like a man possessed when he was on the mound. The last couple of years he looked like he didn’t care.
The 07 ALCS will never be as remembered as the 04 ALCS, but it was one for the ages in its own right. Without Beckett, the Indians would have gone to the WS.
And that was kind of it for Beckett as staff ace, though he retained the “title” for years to come. His 09 and 11 numbers suggest a different story, but Beckett showed up when he felt like it and slouched and sulked when he wanted to. Not a team leader at a time when he should have been taking the reigns from people like Wake and Varitek.
Thanks for 2007 and some good moments after that.
Nice career, he made his money, won a few rings and retired relatively young (per baseball standards). I will remember him for the game 6 WS clinching shutout in 2003 against the yankees and his bright moments in boston.
Unassisted Triple Play
Great Guy! I’ll never forget playing pool with him in the basement of the home he stayed at when he played for Class A Kane County. For those interested he was disgusting at pool as well.
In the end, Beckett is a Hall of Good player who still probably doesn’t appreciate that he could have been a Hall of Famer if he had some internal drive to be the best. Some guys simply don’t have the fire, and he doesn’t. For a guy with rings, who came up young, he had a shot at everything. Its just like him to retire at 34, and to say his recovery seems hard, so he won’t fight to get back. Disappointing, but consistent.
Big Giant Head
True, but at least he knew when to get out. A-Rod should be so wise.
Half of Fame? He was one of the more overrated pitchers I can think of in reason memory…
Absolutely came to love Beckett back in the 2003 playoffs (I was 10 and it was the first year I ever got into the MLB Postseason). I’m glad he tossed that no-no before he went. Happy retirement, Josh!
Prediction: Beckett becomes hot midseason commodity similar to Clemens, Oswalt, Pedro situations in the past. He’ll join a contender by July IMO
A good pitcher who could of been better if the injury thing didn’t haunt him.
He’s got some bucks in the bank and his health is decent.
He’s smart to retire now.
The Splendid Splinter
Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett for Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez. Without the WS ring you helped us win, I’d hate you, Josh.
Thx for all the memories Josh …… you were worth every cent the sox paid you ……. best of luck
just 34 years old. and calling it quits. Makes you wonder if he just lost the competitive edge with the millions he had already earned. Of course he could be just tired of getting injured.