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Former ALCS MVP and Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Becket
Josh Beckett had been public enemy No. 1 in Boston since his chicken and beer parties became national news at the end of last season. So it'd be somewhat of a surprise if the often surly Texan doesn't welcome the move to Los Angeles with open arms.
Fair or not, Beckett and fellow starting pitcher Jon Lester took a lot of heat last season for creating a toxic Red Sox clubhouse that contributed to Boston's historic collapse. The team finished 7-20 last September, costing the team a playoff berth on the season's final day, and manager Terry Francona his job.
What was lost in all the controversy, however, was that Beckett had a spectacular 2011 season. After an injury-plagued 2010 that limited him to a 5.78 ERA, 1.54 WHIP and a -1.1 WAR in 21 starts, he bounced back to post a 2.89 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and a 5.5 WAR in 30 starts last season.
But the 2010 Beckett has returned in 2012, leading to a 5-11 record, a 5.23 ERA and a very appropriate WAR of 0.0 in 21 starts for the Red Sox, before being traded to the Dodgers this past weekend.
That performance—along with the $35.1 million that Beckett is owed through the 2014 season—has many feeling like Los Angeles is getting a vastly overrated pitcher on the downside of his career. But there may well be light at the end of the tunnel.
Like Crawford, Beckett is unlikely to earn the $35.1 million owed to him over the next two-plus seasons. His numbers should improve simply by leaving the band boxes and stacked lineups in the AL East for the mostly pitcher friendly confines of the NL West. But it's unlikely that Beckett will pitch like the No.1 starter he's being paid to be.
The Dodgers have a certified staff ace in 2011 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. They also have starters Chris Capuano, Chad Billingsley and Aaron Harang all signed through 2013. But what they don't have is a lot of playoff experience, something that Beckett has in spades.
He is still just 32 years old. And with two World Series rings, an ALCS MVP and a World Series MVP to his credit, there's little question that Beckett can help the Dodgers tremendously should they manage to make it to the postseason in any of the next three seasons.