MLB Trade Rumors: Is It Time for Boston to Divorce Josh Beckett?

Benjamin KleinContributor IIIJuly 26, 2012

BOSTON, MA - JULY 20:  Josh Beckett #19 of the Boston Red Sox looks at the baseball after giving up two runs in the second inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the game on July 20, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Was Wednesday’s start against the Texas Rangers the final time that Boston fans see Josh Beckett in a Red Sox uniform? It certainly seems like a possibility, to say the least.

Beckett has arguably been Boston’s most consistent pitcher this season, despite a 5-9 record and 4.57 ERA. He only had a couple of bad starts where the Red Sox had no chance at winning and has the highest WAR of every Boston arm, according to FanGraphs.

A few weeks ago, the Red Sox had little to no interest in trading Beckett, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, but things have changed. The Red Sox have fielded some calls on him and, even though nothing is close yet, a deal could get done, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.

Beckett would be a tough sell. He’s an established veteran right-hander who has a pretty good postseason resume. The issue with trying to trade him is that he has full 10-and-5 rights, so he can veto any deal, and he’s also owed $15.75 million in each of the next two seasons.

Although the Red Sox are in need of starting pitching, it might be a good idea to rid themselves of the headaches that Beckett brings.

Not only has Beckett upset fans with some of his starts and actions this season, but the media as well. Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe is one of the most well-respected beat writers in the Boston area and it usually takes a lot to tick him off, but last night Beckett accomplished that.

After Beckett’s outing last night, he refused to talk to reporters, something that’s become a trend this season after a loss. Here’s what happened between Abraham and Beckett, through his Twitter feed.

“Beckett left the clubhouse before reporters were allowed in. Chased him out to the bus. Still wouldn’t talk. A-Rod spoke to reporters last night after he broke his hand. Shows you the difference in the organizations and how they view accountability. And accountability has zero to do with the media. It’s how you conduct yourself as a professional.”

Strong words from Abraham, who has every right to be mad with Beckett. Beckett has never been the nicest guy on the roster, but he needs to start taking responsibility for his starts. Sure, it’s not in his job description to talk to the media after games, but it’s the right thing to do and nearly everyone does it.

That hasn’t even been half of the story this season. Beckett isn’t doing the Red Sox much good this year, as it seems like they get further from the playoffs every single day. Last night, Beckett went seven innings, allowing four earned runs on nine hits while striking out three and picking up his ninth loss of the year.

Beckett can try and blame Cody Ross for misplaying a ball in right field, but his wild pitch in the seventh inning is what gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead that led to a 5-3 loss.

Even if the Red Sox have to take a hit on the return for Beckett, it’s worth it. They need to do whatever it takes to get him out of Boston. He’s not doing this team any good and isn’t setting a good example for some of the younger players on the team.

I’m not saying that the Red Sox should give up on this season yet because they still have a shot at making the postseason, but they need to start making some moves. The New York Yankees are improving, and it seems that the other AL East organizations will try to improve their teams by the trade deadline as well.

The only time we hear about the Red Sox in trade rumors is that they’re not in the contention for a player or didn’t make a good enough effort to get him. What about this team makes GM Ben Cherington think that they can make the playoffs or win the World Series?

They can’t. They need other pieces, and he’s yet to convince me that he’s going to do that.

Trading Beckett would only be a start, but it’d be a good start.