Josh Beckett's Contract Extension: Hypothetically Speaking

Josh LevittSenior Analyst IDecember 17, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 09:  Starting pitcher Josh Beckett #19 of the Boston Red Sox high fives his teammates prior to the start of Game Two of the ALDS during the MLB playoffs against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on October 9, 2009 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

(Update 12/17): After the Red Sox went out and signed John Lackey to a five-year/$82.5 million contract, GM Theo Epstein texted this interesting nugget to Josh Beckett, who will be a free agent at the end of the season:

“I sent Josh a text message as we were finalizing John Lackey’s deal,” Epstein said. “I just told him, ‘Some might speculate this might mean the end for you in Boston.’

I said, ‘Don’t listen to them. You’re a huge part of what we have going on here. We love it if it worked out if you’re a huge part of our future, as well. The most important thing is that we have one heck of a pitching staff right now.’

He texted back. He was very excited about the sign. He knows John a little bit. he thinks he’s a good man and a great pitcher and he’s ready to go for spring training. I don’t think it impacts Josh nearly to the degree people are speculating.”

With that statement in mind, I thought it was necessary to re-post this piece about a contract extension for Josh Beckett from November. I'd love to hear some opinions on this hypothetical contract extension. Should the Red Sox look to lock Beckett up right now? Post your thoughts in the comments section.

With Josh Beckett set to become a free agent at the end of the 2010 season, it looks as though Beckett and the Red Sox are ready to start talking contract:

"Josh Beckett, who was in Boston to be honored for his commitment to Children’s Hospital, told that he and his agent, Michael Moye, are planning to meet with Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein in the coming weeks to discuss the . pitcher’s future with the team.

“We’re just letting things die down a little bit,” Beckett said. Beckett is entering the last year of his contract with the Red Sox after having his option for the 2010 season vest thanks to making 28 starts in ‘09

Prior to the 2009 season, which saw Beckett go 17-6 with a 3.86 ERA, the pitcher made his desire to broach his future with the Sox known following the campaign."

Obviously, the Red Sox would love to sign Beckett to a long term contract extension that would keep him in Boston for the foreseeable future. Beckett is one of the premier pitchers in the AL and is still only 29 years old, which means that there should be plenty of good years left in the tank.

So what will it take for Beckett to remain in Boston long term? Let's take a look at each side's goals moving forward if they want to get an extension done NOW:

The Red Sox

1. limit the years (the most the Sox should offer Beckett is five years with a preference for a four-year deal).

2. discount? if possible.

The Josh Beckett Camp

1. Become one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball.

2. financial security.

3. Increase 2010 salary if possible.

So how about this deal for Beckett and the Red Sox?

(five years/$87 million)

Here is the contractual breakdown:

2010: $15 million
2011: $16 million
2012: $18 million
2013: $18 million
2014: $20 million

Why it works for the Red Sox:

1. Sign Beckett to manageable extension.

2. Sign Beckett for less than what he would have gotten on the free agent market (maybe?).

Why it works for Josh Beckett:

1. Becomes one of the highest paid starting pitchers in baseball (contract in line with those signed by AJ Burnett and Carlos Zambrano).

2. Increases 2010 salary by $3 million.

3. He can become a free agent again at 34, which introduces the possibility of yet another long term deal.

4. Beckett stays in Boston, where he loves to play.

Is this contract extension realistic? Should the Red Sox try to sign Beckett to a contract extension? Is he worth it?

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