I thought the Red Sox should have dealt Josh Beckett after his All Star season in 2009. He had one year left on his contract, was affordable and was probably at peak value. Instead the Red Sox signed him to an extension.
Well here I am 2 years later and I am more than saying the Red Sox would be smart to trade him. I am saying the MUST trade him.
There are 5 factors of the current baseball climate that make a Josh Beckett trade imperative and forward thinking for the Red Sox.
REASON ONE: THE STAR TREK EFFECT
I wrote at the beginning of the season that, like the Star Trek films, Beckett is good every other year.
2007, 2009 and 2011 he was an All Star.
2006, 2008 and 2010 he was underwhelming.
So 2012 looks like he is due for a sub par season. And if his 5.48 ERA in September was any indication, he might have a head start on a bad year. If he is going to lose with a high ERA, I’d rather it be with another team.
REASON TWO: C.J.WILSON AND THE HORRIBLE CROP OF AVAILABLE PITCHERS
C. J. Wilson is the most sought after free agent pitcher on the market right now. He was born the same year as Josh Beckett (1980) and he has 2 good seasons as a starting pitcher under his belt. Beckett has 3 All Star seasons with the Red Sox to go along with some good years in Florida.
Wilson has a spotty playoff record while Beckett has a World Series MVP and an ALCS MVP on his mantle.
I’ve been saying that C. J. Wilson is a contract disaster waiting to happen. But the need for starting pitching and the terrible crop of current pitchers will mean that SOMEONE will pay him over $100 million over the next six years.
Or they can pay Josh Beckett $45 million over the next three years. A team that loses (wins?) the C. J. Wilson derby after he signs elsewhere can get a cheaper shorter term contract with a pitcher the same age with a better career and a much sharper post season record.
Sounds like a good move to me.
REASON THREE: THE RED SOX LACK OF DEPTH
I don’t think the Red Sox are winning the 2012 pennant. They lack depth in the rotation, in the bullpen, on the bench and even in the lineup.
Besides Lester, who can be trusted in the rotation? Buchholz is too much of a health risk to be counted on. The bullpen is a no man’s land. The corner outfield spots, catcher and shortstop are a mystery and there is little firepower off the bench. The Red Sox need to address some of those problems and a trade for a younger player (or hopefully younger players) would help solve some problems. If the Sox can swing a deal and get a corner outfielder of the future or a good young reliever that can be a factor for the next bunch of years, then it is a deal worth making.
REASON FOUR: BOBBY V AND BECKETT WILL BE A MATCH MADE IN HELL
We all know this is true. Beckett isn’t exactly Mr. Cute and Cuddly and he was an ornery dude with a lovable lug like Terry Francona running the team. Now he will be in the clubhouse with the Know-It-All who trashed Beckett down the stretch on ESPN.
How can this end well?
How will they coexist?
The answer is they won’t. And on the heels of the great collapse of 2011 and Valentine putting his thumb print on the club, it is probably best not to do an experiment and put them in the same clubhouse.
Oh it would be entertaining. But I prefer peace and winning.
REASON FIVE: BECKETT DID HIS JOB. IT’S TIME TO MOVE ON.
If there is one thing the modern history of the Red Sox has shown us, it is Boston is quick to let stars rot on someone else’s watch. Nomar, Pedro, Mo, Damon, Mueller, Millar, Lowe and Manny all had their “grumbling and limping” seasons on someone else’s dime. No doubt we will add Papelbon to that list.
It means the Red Sox are not exactly a sentimental team. But the Sox should make the deal with Beckett while our memories of him are still positive.
He owes Red Sox fans nothing. He was brought in to be the brash bad ass ace that was missing from Fenway after Pedro Martinez left. He rewarded us Sox fans with a memorable 2007 regular season and a totally dominating post season. He went 4-0 with a complete game shutout, the ALCS MVP and probably would have won the World Series MVP if he had a second start.
He did what he was supposed to do.
He secured that second championship, the won that showed 2004 was not a fluke.
Let’s remember THAT Josh Beckett instead of the player who will inevitably breakdown soon.
As a Red Sox fan I can’t possibly thank Josh Beckett enough. But it is time to move on.
I have a feeling all of these reasons will fall on deaf ears.
But dealing him makes sense.