In a move that took three weeks longer than most Red Sox fans were expecting, the club announced they have placed starting pitcher Josh Beckett on waivers according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, via Twitter. That is the good news for Sox fans. The bad news is that Heyman writes that competing executives told him they don’t expect Beckett to be claimed.
Beckett’s salary is a major sticking point that many clubs would shy away from. The right-hander earns $15.75MM per year for the next two seasons and with an ERA of 5.23 and off field drama that Hollywood couldn’t come up with, it’s a hefty and risky investment for any club. He has one win since May and has been booed relentlessly at home from the Fenway faithful. Beckett has worn out his welcome in Boston and the majority of Red Sox Nation want him gone.
The one feather in Beckett’s cap is his playoff experience and the success he’s had when pitching in October. A club like the Atlanta Braves might kick the tires on Beckett as could the recently slammed Oakland A’s thanks to Bartolo Colon‘s blunder. Any slight possibility of a club looking to claim Beckett would surely demand the Red Sox cover a large portion of his remaining salary over the next two seasons.
The Texas Rangers had modest interest in Beckett leading up to the July deadline and perhaps they could be in line to inquire on the Texas native. Beckett does have ten and five rights, giving him the ability to block any trade he chooses to. Surely a deal to his home state of Texas would be on the top of his wish list, making the Rangers the perfect suitor.
Heyman also explained that one rival GM told him that “Boston’s first priority has to be to trade Josh Beckett this August.” Time is running out with only one week remaining until the calendar flips to September. No pressure Ben.