Red Sox offer Josh Beckett four-year contract extension’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.

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What’s wrong with Josh Beckett?

I had the opportunity to watch the Red Sox-Rays game last night in what was supposed to be a great pitcher’s duel between Josh Beckett and Matt Garza. What it turned out to be was a Boston beat down, as Tampa Bay routed the BoSox 13-0 thanks to Garza’s near perfect game. (Jacoby Ellsbury’s infield single off Garza in the seventh ended his bid for a perfect game.)

Outside of Garza’s flirtation with perfection, one of the storylines was Beckett, who allowed seven runs on 10 hits in just 4.2 innings of work. He also allowed eight runs in his previous start, which means he has now surrendered seven or more runs in consecutive starts for just the second time in his career.

What was strange about his performance was that it wasn’t just another bad outing. Beckett was actually cruising until he got into trouble in the third, retiring six of the first seven batters he faced while also striking out four. He was throwing the ball hard, his curve was sharp and he had great command. It really looked like he was going to have one of those outings where you talk about him afterwards as being one of the best aces in baseball.

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