Red Sox offer Josh Beckett four-year contract extension

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney is reporting that the Red Sox have offered ace Josh Beckett a four-year contract extension. Olney also reports that a deal could be completed in the next week or two.

Beckett, the sources said, has a four-year, guaranteed offer from Boston on the table. His deal could be along the lines of the free-agent contract John Lackey signed with the Red Sox this winter — $16.5 million a year for five years — in terms of annual salary. It could be worth a total package in the range of $65 million to $70 million, sources said.

The three-year, $30 million extension Beckett signed in 2006 expires at the end of the season. He is coming off a 17-win season and has won 65 games in his four seasons in Boston.

Beckett is coming off a solid season in which he compiled a 17-6 record, with 199 strikeouts, a 3.86 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. It was the fourth time in five years that he posted a WHIP under 1.2 and as long as he stays healthy, he will continue to be the rock in Boston’s rotation.

A back injury did cause him to miss a start last season, but he hasn’t suffered any lingering affects and will be set to go on Opening Day. The Red Sox would be smart to get a deal done now so the situation won’t be a distraction during the season. Not that it would anyway – Beckett is the consummate pro.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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