Re-sign Beckett Now!

Two days ago a story broke across the Boston media outlets that the Red Sox have offered Josh Beckett a "lucrative" four year contract extension.  The news that the two sides are sitting down and trying to iron out a deal is exciting. The picture alone gets me pumped for baseball season to start and even more fired up that the Sox should lock up Cy Beckett for the next 5 years.   However, I remain skeptical about this.  In my humble opinion Theo Epstein very much likes to play games with his players.  He is cognizant of the strong fan base and the critical media in Boston.  He has become an expert at making "cover your ass" offers to his players that are good enough on paper, yet he knows they will not sign it.  He does this in an effort to keep the fans happy and the media at bay (no pun intended).   I have a strong problem with this.

See Josh Beckett is not Theo’s "guy."  Theo was not in office when the Red Sox traded Hanley Ramirez for Beckett.  This trade led to the 2007 World Series title for the Sox and Beckett was the hero.  It’s been widely speculated that Theo never wanted to part ways with the stud shortstop.  But Beckett brought his big game experience to Boston and the Fenway faithful embraced him as one of their own, a Yankee killer no less.

Theo already covered his bases this off season by signing John Lackey to a 5 year $80 million deal.  For some reason Theo won’t give the same 5 years to Beckett, who is a year younger than Lackey.  Theo’s strategy? Offer a Beckett a serviceable offer, when he rejects, he can say he did his best and always had Lackey to fall back on.  No Theo, not this time.

This off season the Red Sox brass has shifted their mindset to one of putting the best pitching and defense on the diamond they possibly can.  I believe that if they are going forth with this strategy they should stick with it and sign Beckett to the five year deal he wants.  This would give the Sox Lester, Beckett, and Lackey for five years as their 1-2-3.  They have an embarrassment of riches with Clay Buchholz and Dice-K being the ideal 4 and 5 (Both would be a 2 or a 3 on other teams). 

I have grown tired of seeing the Red Sox spend dead money. That is, money on people that aren’t even on their roster (See Lugo, Julio and Renteria, Edgar).  Spend the money on Beckett.  This is not a "Varitek" or "Lowell" situation.  What I mean by that is there actually are other teams out there that will pony up loads of cash for Josh Beckett.  There will be no "Boras-ian bidders" out there.  The Yankees would love to bring Beckett in behind CC Sabathia and in front of AJ Burnett.  Maybe for that reason alone the Sox should resign Beckett immediately.

Next off-season will feature a weak free agent pitching market.  They will not be able to replace Beckett for lesser money within that market.  Beckett is a proven bulldog on the mound.  Someone who has grown accustomed to pitching in the American League.  Despite being injured in the last two post seasons he still battled through 6 innings a game and was able to keep the Sox in the games he pitched.  He is still, in my opinion, among the best big game pitchers in baseball.

The Red Sox will regret not resigning Cy Beckett.  Give him the extra year.  Pitching is not easy to come by and when you have a stud in your lap you take care of him.  Give Cy Beckett what he rightfully deserves and keep the fan base happy and the team competitive for the next 5 years.


2 Responses

  1. Awesome blog. . .stop calling him “CY”

  2. I agree with what you are saying Scotty, but you have to take Beckett’s injury problems into account. He has been unable to stay healthy for a full season basically since he has gotten to Boston. He almost needs a trip to the DL in mid-July to refresh him for the postseason. Now, I’m not saying that a postseason Beckett isn’t worth “Lackey-type” money, but you have to seriously consider the risk of signing him to a long term deal.

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