My Thoughts on Josh Beckett's Extension with the Boston Red Sox

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My Thoughts on Josh Beckett's Extension with the Boston Red Sox
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Article was originally posted on the Beantown Sports Observer; number one place for top notch Boston sports news and commentary.

Today the Boston Red Sox finalized a four year $68 million dollar contract extension with right handed pitcher, Josh Beckett. The contract will run through the 2014 season and Beckett will make $17 million dollars per season.

The ace of the rotation would have become a free agent at the end of this season, but the Sox signed him early to avoid potentially losing him to free agency. In his time with Boston, Beckett has a 65-34 record in his tenure so far with Boston and an ERA of 4.07.

With Beckett now locked up for the next four years, he solidifies the rotation for the Sox for the foreseeable future.

Alongside Beckett at the helm of the rotation is Jon Lester who is in his second year of a four year contract, John Lackey who is in the first of a five year deal, Daisuke Matsuzaka who has three years left, and Tim Wakefield who is under contract through the 2011 season. Throw in Clay Buchholz and potentially Casey Kelly and the Sox should be a very dominant team, at least from a pitching standpoint.

The contract was announced at a brief press conference today, where they announced the four year $68 million dollar contract and this is what Beckett had to say in regards to his new contract and his career in Boston:

“This is a very special place and I think that everyone who has had a chance to play here knows that,” Beckett said. “The people who haven’t had a chance probably know that through other people that have. I think this organization, they just do everything they can to make our jobs as easy as possible and from people I’ve talked to, there’s not a whole lot of organizations out there that really do that. Whether it be in between starts or roundtable meetings, there’s just a lot of things that go on here that make it a very ideal situation for a baseball player.”

The soon to be 30 year old right hander also pitched the first game of the 2010 Regular Season versus the New York Yankees where he struggled throwing 4-and-2/3 innings giving up five earned runs. Nonetheless, the contract extension is signed and Beckett will be back in Beantown through the 2014 season.

Beckett came to Boston in a deal with the Florida Marlins back in 2005 which sent Josh Beckett and soon to be crowd favorite, Mike Lowell to Boston in exchange for the megastar prospect at the time, Hanley Ramirez. In his time with Boston, Beckett finished second in AL Cy Young voting in 2007, the season where he led the Sox to their second World Series win of the 21st century.

He is also known for being flat out unstoppable in the playoffs, most notably in 2007 where he went 4-0 with an ERA of 1.20. He rarely has struggled in the playoffs in his career.

Now as to where my evaluation is concerned, I will ask myself the $68 million dollar question, is Beckett worth the deal and will he produce at a top-notch level?

In my eyes, Beckett is still one of the most dominant right handed pitchers in all of baseball and if he remains healthy will continue his reign of dominance. There is some doubt to some in regards to his injuries in the past as well as his performance last night versus New York that has concerned some of the Nation, but I find both of those thoughts foolish; one more than the other obviously.

When it comes to injuries, Beckett has never been the most consistent at staying healthy throughout the entity of the season and a small degree of concern is understandable. Beckett’s past is far from injury free and an incentive similar to the one in John Lackey’s contract would have been nice to have, but I think he has missed less time over the past year or two and that injuries are no longer a serious problem to him. Injuries always happen when you least expect them, but I don’t see anything serious or nagging to Beckett compared to what has happened to him in his past.

As for the Opening Day disaster…give me a break. CC Sabathia had a worse night than Beckett and Yankees fans aren’t concerned or not thinking he’s worth the how many hundred million that guy is making. Beckett is a slow starter. Last season, he struggled all of April besides his phenomenal performance on Opening Day 2009.

He’ll be back to his old self in no time, so I can’t see why so many have complained. Beckett is more than worth the contract he received and he possibly would have gotten even more on the free agent market.

Josh Beckett is a horse on the mound. He is a leader in the clubhouse. His competitive attitude will not allow him to struggle, especially with Lester and Lackey eying the ace status in the rotation. Beckett is still one of the best in baseball today and even if he’s not the Beckett we had in 2007, he’s anything but a pushover and will produce greatly for the team this season.

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