Red Sox Exploring Beckett Trades

Is Beckett being shopped? If so, who are the potential suitors?

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that they’ve got, it looks like the Red Sox have put Beckett on the block…or at least they’re exploring the opportunity according to ESPN Boston’s, Gordon Edes.

“Two days before Tuesday’s trading deadline, all appeared quiet on the Red Sox front, although one major league executive insisted Sunday night that the team is looking for a buyer for starting pitcher Josh Beckett.

‘They’re trying to dump him,’ the executive said, ‘but I don’t think anyone would touch him without a big discount.’”

Beckett’s surly attitude, age, recent performance, and of course, his contract complicate matters greatly.  On top of that, you have to factor in his 10/5 rights*, which gives him a de facto no trade clause.  While trading him is certainly not impossible, it’s certainly an uphill battle to climb.

* 10/5 rights – When a player achieves ten years of major league service and five years with the same team, teams must receive a player’s permission before executing a trade.  

According to Yahoo! Sports Jeff Passan, the Red Sox are targeting contending teams to which they believe Beckett would waive his 10/5 rights.  The Dodgers, Rangers, and Braves are believed to be among the teams potentially interested.

The Braves, who nearly completed a trade for Ryan Dempster before he declined the trade, have been linked in nearly every trade rumor for the past month.  Given their relatively cheap corporate ownership who seem unwilling to take payroll beyond the $90-100M mark, Beckett seems like a poor fit for the Braves.  He’s the type of high salary, long-term investment pitcher that the organization has stayed away from in recent years.  Unless the Red Sox are willing to eat around 75% of his remaining salary, I don’t see a trade happening.

Not all that long ago, the Rangers had an incredibly deep, formidable rotation.  Now, it’s in need of reinforcement.  Their number two starter, Colby Lewis, will miss the rest of the season with a torn flexor tendon in his elbow, and Neftali Felix was removed from his latest rehab start with tightness in his elbow.  (You know what that probably means).  As a stop gap measure, Alexi Ogando will be switching from the bullpen to the rotation.

Further complicating matters is the Angels making a big splash by adding Zack Greinke to their already strong rotation.  Nolan Ryan, the fierce competitor and team President, won’t idly stand by.  Beckett is the kind of fireballing Texan that Ryan loves.  The question is whether or not he’ll be willing to take on part of his contract.  Red Sox should not be expecting Mike Olt or Jurickson Profar in return.  Both of those guys are off limits; especially in exchange for a borderline salary dump like Beckett.

The Dodgers new ownership tried to make a big splash in June by acquiring Carlos Lee from the Astros. He spurned them, and accepted a trade to the Marlins.  Oops.  The Dodgers have made up for it by trading for a much bigger fish in Hanley Ramirez instead, and have been involved heavily in trade rumors for Ryan Dempster, Hunter Pence, etc.  They seem desperate to make some big bold moves regardless of the cost or logic.  Luckily, they have the right man for the job in Ned Colletti–someone who boggles the mind on a daily basis.  In the grand scheme of things, I’m not sure they’ll be willing to take on Beckett’s deal.  Still, the new ownership might be willing to take that chance in hopes of capitalizing on the excitement by taking out their chief rival in the playoff hunt.

This leads me to a question I’ve been mulling for a few days.  Clearly, most members of Red Sox Nation want Josh Beckett shipped out of town.  If the Red Sox are forced to dump his contract (and eat 75% or more), and they get little in return as a result (meaning no A or B graded prospects), would you still be happy with the move?  Realistically, what do you expect from a Beckett trade?  Leave your comments in the section below, and let us know.

Categories: Carlos Lee Colby Lewis Hanley Ramirez Josh Beckett Jurickson Profar Mike Olt Neftali Feliz Zack Greinke

After being slapped with a restraining order for stealing Nick Cafardo's mail, I was forced into retirement for a brief period of time. As fun as it was to lounge around the community pool and play shuffleboard with noted internet columnist, Murray Chass, I quickly felt a yearning to write again. Now in my second tenure with Fire Brand, I have set lofty goals of achieving world domination, ending the plight of the hipsters, and becoming BFFs with Mike Trout. I am fluent in two languages (Sarcasm and English, in that order); have an intimate relationship with M&Ms; firmly believe that Lucille is the best character on Arrested Development; and spend my spare time trolling select members of the Boston media. You can follow me on Twitter @Chip_Buck.

13 Responses to “Red Sox Exploring Beckett Trades” Subscribe

  1. Trish July 30, 2012 at 9:53 AM #

    I think at this point Beckett's so thoroughly burned his bridges in Boston that people would be happy just to see him gone, a la Manny Ramirez. It hasn't been SINCE Manny was in Boston that I've seen Red Sox Nation turn so hard on a player. I won't deny Beckett brought a lot of this on himself–he's learned the hard way that the surly redneck act only works if he's winning. If the Red Sox do shift him, I don't see him going anywhere else but the Rangers. They can pay him and he'd be back in Texas.

  2. Walt in Maryland July 30, 2012 at 10:15 AM #

    You're probaby right, Trish, but only to a point. The Red Sox got Jasn Bay in return when they traded Manny, and they reached Game 7 of the ALCS after they dealt him. Bay helped them to another playoff berth with an excellent season in 2009.

    Beckett isn't going to bring back anyone close to that level. To me, given Sox' luxury-tax issues, the smart move with Beckett might be to accept less talent in return for assuming more of Beckett's salary. It won't help the Sox this year, but not much will.

    If the Sox are going to pay 75% of his contract, they need to get something of value in return.

  3. Jeff July 30, 2012 at 10:26 AM #

    The Manny comparison is not a good one. When Manny was traded he was performing at an All Star level at the plate (20 HR, 137 OPS+). He was shipped out purely for off-the-field issues. Beckett would be traded primarily because he is not performing up to snuff for a top-3 starter (95 ERA+ meaning just below league average) and because he has a large long-term contract. You don't get anything of value back when you trade a guy like he is right now – no decent prospects.

    For this reason (and based upon the fact that the Sox still cling to wild-card hopes) I don't see him going anywhere. It just doesn't make competitive sense right now.

  4. Bret July 30, 2012 at 11:48 AM #

    Absolutely not. I may be the one person in New England who still loves the guy. We've got two months of baseball left and are still in the wild-card hunt. Other than his single-inning blow ups, Beckett has pitched relatively well, albeit not for a $15.75mm salary. Find me a better option and I may reconsider, but internally, who are you going to bring up? Bard's still throwing at a High School level and you couldn't pay me to give Dice-K another shot. Trading Beckett for no real prospects, a la Youkilis, and then expending our prospects to get a pitcher in return is senseless and detracts from future seasons. Beckett has his problems, but he's still the best option we have. Say what you will about his surly attitude, I for one enjoy his sticking it to the sensationalist Boston media, but if he fixes his issues he could be just the thing the Sox need to push for a playoff berth… That is unless you're willing to throw in the towel.

    • ChipBuck July 31, 2012 at 12:28 PM #

      I still like Beckett, Bret. I don't live in New England though. I could not agree more about loving Beckett sticking it to the media.

  5. Walt in Maryland July 30, 2012 at 12:38 PM #

    Bret, I think that's exactly the point. The Sox are considering throwing in the towel, and there are some people who believe that's the wise move. (Not sure I'm one of them).

    If they trade Beckett, I don't see them, as you say "expending our prospects" to get another pitcher. Any corresponding move they make will be smaller, and probably inexpensive.

    I doubt they'll pull off a Beckett deal, but if they do, it should be with two things in mind: reducing the payroll obligations for 2013 and beyond, and removing from the roster a highly paid, underperforming player who is perceived in some circles as a clubhouse cancer.

    I'd ask one question. Do you see Josh Beckett as part of the 2013 Red Sox? If the answer is anything other than yes, there's no reason not to trade him.

    • ChipBuck July 31, 2012 at 12:28 PM #

      Great points, Walt.

  6. Danny July 30, 2012 at 11:45 PM #

    At this point, I'm alright with calling it on 2012 and cutting salary so we can improve the club down the road. There is definitely someone in baseball with questionable decision-making skills who can help us dump Beckett's contract, we just have to find them. That being said, perhaps the trade deadline isn't the time to deal him; instead, why not wait until the winter and shop him to the entire league, instead of just contenders? Seems like it might benefit us more.

    Also, this is off-topic, but the autoplaying ads on the side of the page have been bothering me a lot lately, especially the political ones. There's no pause option, so I have to click on them – giving the website a free hit – to shut them up, and I really don't want to do that. I don't care what "the sequester" is, Ad Lady. Let me read my sports analysis in peace.

  7. Conor July 31, 2012 at 8:38 AM #

    Sadly the Red Sox believed that Beckett had turned it around in April, but lets be honest, Beckett is very out of shape and has lost the velocity that made him effective. Also he was only a top starter for the Red Sox for three of his seven years in Boston with a career ERA of over 4 as a Red Sox. However it makes little to no sense to trade Josh Beckett for nothing in return because that will not help the team win now or in the future.

  8. Jabez July 31, 2012 at 9:42 AM #

    I still don't understand why Bostonians are so obsessed with the players on the Red Sox being nice. The whole point of living in Boston is that you don't have to pretend you're a nice person all the time. There's little obligation to make small talk or even give someone the time of day in most of the metropolitan area, but as soon as you walk onto the diamond at Fenway you're supposed to be a good guy?

    • ChipBuck July 31, 2012 at 12:24 PM #

      I like you, Jabez. +1000 totally nailing it with your comment.

  9. Benjamin Raucher July 31, 2012 at 5:36 PM #

    Wouldn't like to lose him but if we do we better get somebody good.

    BENJAMIN RAUCHER

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