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Red Sox Trade Rumors: Trading Josh Beckett Would Be Addition by Subtraction

BOSTON, MA - JULY 20:  Josh Beckett #19 of the Boston Red Sox pitches 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
Eric BallFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2012

The Boston Red Sox are middling away in the basement of the American League East and need to realize the 2012 season is a bust.

It looks like they finally have in the final hours of the trade deadline.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports has reported starting pitcher Josh Beckett is on the market, and that should be incredible news for Sox fans.

Passan’s sources tell him that Beckett would be willing to waive his 10-and-5 rights if he were to be traded to the Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves and potentially the Los Angeles Dodgers. Boston is so ready to rid themselves of Beckett, they are prepared to foot the bill on part of the $37.3 million remaining on his contract through the 2014 season, according to the report.

Teams are desperate to bolster their starting pitching for a playoff run and the Red Sox could net some serious prospects and financial flexibility in return. Considering the team ranks 25th in baseball in quality starts (48), the need for young pitching should be priority No. 1 for the Red Sox moving forward.

The 32-year-old has compiled a 5-9 record with a 4.57 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, .263 BAA with only 82 strikeouts in 108.1 innings thrown this season. That’s the sort of stuff you expect from a fifth starter, not a No. 1.

He’s supposed to be the ace of this staff and has instead been one of its biggest headaches.

The team has lost seven of his last eight starts and Beckett seems unwavered by his struggles. He has displayed zero sense of urgency. When you reach a level of indifference, it’s time to go.  

Ever since the chicken and beer controversy that submarined their season last year, Beckett has become incredibly defensive with the media and it seems to have affected his play on the field. The pressure-cooker that can be the Boston media has ruffled the feathers of Beckett to the point where he needs a fresh start.

That’s why the Red Sox can still net a huge return on a pitcher who has struggled so badly in the last year. They’ll look at his success in the playoffs, and assume he just needs to get out of Beantown and a revival down the stretch is in order.

This sentiment may or may not be right, but it’s clear a revival isn’t happening in Boston.

Getting rid of Beckett will give more opportunities to young pitchers who need to prove themselves, while replenishing some of the depth in their farm system in the process.

Sometimes a team needs to understand that it just isn’t their year. The Red Sox have to pass five separate teams to land the second wild card, and that’s just to have the right to play in a one-game playoff.

Sure it’s odd for the Red Sox to throw in the towel with two months to go, but Beckett is no longer helping his team, and you could argue he is now hurting it.

Time to move on.

 

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