Call it a desperation move or call it a realization. Either way, Ben Cherington is trying to trade Josh Beckett. Multiple reports have surfaced that the Red Sox are indeed shopping the right-hander.
Here’s what we know. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com confirmed the Sox are looking to deal Beckett, but given his 10 and 5 rights, his large contract for the next two years along with his sub par performance this season, an August deal may be more likely given the fact that he’s likely to clear waivers.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Braves and Rangers have been contacted by the Red Sox and have engaged in talks surrounding Beckett. Both clubs are said to be teams that Beckett might accept a trade to and while the Dodgers could also be on that list, the Sox have yet to contact Magic Johnson and companies new team. Late last week we heard the Rangers were not interested in Beckett but given their rash of injuries to their rotation, acquiring a proven postseason pitcher could change their minds.
Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports that one executive informed him that the Red Sox are trying to “dump” Beckett but finding a taker will be difficult unless the Sox take on a majority of his salary. Using the word “dump” is reminiscent of the Kevin Youkilis situation when Cherington gave Youk to the White Sox for a prospect and a utility player who is now in Cleveland. While the deal had to be made, the Beckett situation isn’t as pressing, unless of course you poll Red Sox Nation; the majority want him gone.
But to give him away for nothing? The postseason is going to be a stretch this year for our beloved Boston club and giving away Beckett for virtually nothing isn’t going to help this club this year. Unless of course you consider that given the urgency to trade the tall Texan, maybe the clubhouse cancer rumors are true. Maybe Beckett is this large pain in the ass that we’ve heard so much about and now Cherington is trying to finally clean up the clubhouse.
Unloading him for all but a bag of practice balls and a “reach first safely” card won’t make this team better on the field. An off season move could be had that would see a somewhat decent return for Beckett, but if he needs to go now, so be it and make the move Ben.
This could be the first of many moves that sees Ben unload remains of the Theo Epstein era; cleaning up Theo’s mess of egos and overpaid contracts. It won’t be easy but shipping the egotistical Beckett out of town is a good start. It’s just unfortunate they can’t get much for him. Given the factors mentioned above, it’s easy to see why not.
While the reports don’t look promising for Boston to move Beckett, we’ve come to learn that anything is possible at the trade deadline and if Theo sculpted Ben, then don’t be surprised if this deal does indeed happen.