Boston To Keep Beckett For Four More Seasons
A day after the Boston Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees 9-7 on Opening Night, the Red Sox announced that their No. 1 starter (for appearances sake), Josh Beckett, is being signed to a four-year, $68 million contract extension.
Negotiations have been ongoing during spring training and after weeks of relatively smooth negotiating, the Sox and Beckett have come to terms on an extension. The new deal will average $17 million over four years which is slightly more than the $16.5 million newcomer John Lackey received from the Sox this off-season, although Lackey signed for five-years.
Beckett will play out the last year of his original three-year, $30 million contract he signed in 2006, which pays him $12 million this season. The Boston right-hander wasn’t sharp on Sunday night, lasting only 4 2/3 innings while giving up five runs. Luckily for Beckett and the Sox, Boston came back from a 5-1 deficit to defeat the Chan Ho Park and the Yankees.
The four-year extension will guarantee that Boston’s starting rotation will feature Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and John Lackey until 2014. The future Sox rotation also includes Clay Buchholz until at least 2013 as well as Daisuake Matsuzaka until 2012, with Casey Kelly sure to make his major league debut before then.
Beckett’s signing allows Theo Epstein the freedom and security to trade prospects such as Buchholz and Kelly for other players, such as a power-hitter, if such needs occur in the future (Adrian Gonzalez anyone?).
Nonetheless, the Sox will need Beckett to be more Beckett-like this season and in the four seasons to come, and less like the version they saw of him on Sunday night.