According to reporting by ESPN's Gordon Edes, the Boston Red Sox are trying to "dump" starting pitcher Josh Beckett before the trade deadline on August 1. The righty has been a controversial figure in Boston since it was revealed that he was part of the "fried chicken and beer" crowd in the Sox clubhouse, and the scrutiny intensified when he played golf a day after missing a start, then got roughed up in his next outing. Beckett reacted to the criticism by stubbornly declaring that "my off-day is my off-day."
Impressive stats might override those incidents in the minds of team executives and fans alike, but Beckett has been inconsistent and at times awful this season. He is 5-9 with a 4.57 ERA in 17 starts this season, and he is a scary 1-7 in his last eight starts. It's no surprise with those stats combined with his previous incidents that the Sox are looking to move him.
The question becomes what the Red Sox can get for Beckett and whether he would approve a trade. Beckett has 10/5 rights as a player with 10 years of MLB service and 5 consecutive years with the Red Sox, so he may veto any trade. That effectively rules out any non-contender. It is unclear where he would accept a trade to, but considering his past year or so in Boston it is not a stretch to say he might be open to any contending teams.
The Red Sox won't get much for Beckett, though. He does have two World Series rings and a World Series MVP trophy, but he comes with previous shoulder issues, his baggage from Boston, and his foreboding stats from this season. Not to mention a contract worth $31.5 million in 2013 and 2014, and the rest of the $15.75 million he is owed this season.
At this point, it isn't worth it to trade Beckett, unless you really think that he is some sort of clubhouse-destroying malcontent who is killing the team. I don't believe his presence is that bad, especially now that Kevin Youkilis is gone, the man Beckett supposedly accused of being the "rat" on the team. They won't get enough back for him, and to get any sort of worthwhile return they'll need to pay extra cash and prospects most likely.
And who knows, maybe Beckett can turn things around. There is always a chance, and he has the talent to still be a solid pitcher, though probably not worth his contract. Unless someone gets desperate and a good deal pops up, Josh Beckett should still be a member of the Red Sox after Tuesday.
Scott Frano is a Boston native and longtime Red Sox fan.
"Source: Josh Beckett on the block," Gordon Edes, ESPN
"Josh Beckett's golf round after missing start is further proof the Red Sox aren't his top priority," Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports
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