Josh Beckett

By Blaidd Drwg

According to ESPN, the Red Sox will not offer Josh Beckett a 5 year deal, similar to the one that they gave John Lackey this off-season. I personally am not a big fan of Josh Beckett – for all of his talent, he has been very inconsistent over his career and seems to be on an every other year schedule of having a good season, and I don’t think giving a 5 year deal to a pitcher over 30 is a good deal to begin with, but this seems a bit odd to me. A comparison of the two over the last 4 seasons:

Josh Beckett John Lackey
IP ERA+ Salary IP ERA+ Salary
2006 204.2 95 4,325,000 217.2 129 3,334,000
2007 200.2 145 6,666,667 224.0 150 5,833,333
2008 174.1 115 10,166,666 163.1 119 7,333,333
2009 212.1 122 11,166,666 176.1 118 10,000,000

Th have roughly the same value and made very comparable salaries over those seasons. Their value is actually so close, that the #1 comp for each of them on Baseball-Reference is the other – and the similarity score is 971, so that is damn close. The other 3 close comps among active pitchers for Josh Beckett – Chris Carpenter, Carlos Zambrano and Jake Peavy – all of whom signed big money, long term contracts with their respective teams.

I thought that the Sox made a huge mistake in giving 5 years to Lackey, who while good, has shown some tendency to be injured over the last couple of seasons and I think the Sox are going to regret years 4 and 5 of that deal when they are paying $18+ million a year for slightly above league average pitching. It is probably all just a ploy by the Sox to try to get Beckett signed for under the going rate for a front of the rotation starter, but it will be interesting to see how it works out for them. Josh Beckett is going to get his 5 yr/$80+ million contract, the question is, which team will give it to him.

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