Now from the start I’ve always given Red Sox players the benefit of the doubt and turned a blind eye to issues they may have. Very rarely do completely lose my patience with a guy, but Josh Beckett has done it for me. I’ve never cared about his arrogance and how poorly he handles himself. That stuff never mattered to me. What truly matter was results. If you’re going to go in public and pretty much force everyone to hate you at least back it up with decent play. For Beckett he’s been far from decent. Watching the game today I could have sworn he was trying to make the Red Sox lose. At this point it looks like he’s lost all care for the team and what happens this year. He, like so many others, has essentially given up on the team contending this year. I’ve reached a point where I hope he never pitches in a Boston Red Sox uniform again.
The time to move him is now. Beckett is a sinking ship and it seems as if it can only get worse, if that indeed is possible. Also, Franklin Morales is permanently moving to the rotation and the Sox have said repeatedly that they don’t want a six man rotation, so someone has to go. My vote is for Beckett, and I’m sure most would agree. No one wants him anymore so now it becomes a baseball move, a PR move, and a flat out common sense move. This is why Ben Cherrington and the Rex Sox must act now, because not only are the hurting their ballclub they’re hurting what means the most to them, their image.
The Red Sox do have the ability to get rid of him this month. He could pass through waivers, if he hasn’t already, and if he goes unclaimed he can be traded to any team. However, if he is claimed he can dumped off to whoever wins the claim or the Red Sox could work out a trade with the winning team. Now its highly unlikely someone would claim him do to his high price tag, but a man can dream can’t he? In the far more likely scenario where he becomes eligible to be traded to any team, he’d be very difficult to move. First off, you have the contract situation and no one wants to touch it, so salary would have to be eaten. Secondly, Beckett’s just not good anymore. He’s a shell of his former self and there’s no sign that he’ll ever come anywhere close to that form again. A change of scenery usually can help a guy, so that could be selling point that’s used by Cherrington. Lastly, Beckett is now considered a clubhouse cancer. Not many teams should want to take a gamble on a guy whose handled himself so poorly and could hurt team morale. Now I truly believe that most of the clubhouse turmoil is fabricated and overblown by the wonderful Boston media, but I’m sure outsiders hear it and believe it. If you’re not from the Boston area, then you don’t whose reliable and whose not, so stories that are largely untrue can hurt a players trade value. It hurts a guy like Beckett more than most guys, because he’s used as figurehead for most of the mess that’s unfolded (beergate, golfgate, etc.) so it all leads back to Beckett and no team wants controversy, ever.
At lot of things must come together for the Sox to unload Beckett, but it is possible. Like I said before he hurts what means most to ownership, and that’s their public image. They’ve gone great lengths to protect it so why won’t they this time? If they push hard enough eventually Beckett will be out the door and the team would benefit, so it’s just a matter of how hard do the Red Sox want to push.
It’s no secret that Josh Beckett has lost a lot of fan support since last September. Just yesterday it was reveled that he and Clay Buchholz went golfing even though he was “resting” a lat injury. Shortly after people were calling for him to be traded or just outright released. Now this is a little unrealistic, it’s not like he’s completely unproductive (although tonight he looked it) there’s still trade value. Obviously the Sox would have to eat most of his contract ($51 million over the next 3 years) so the question is a waste of $20 million+ worth keeping the fan base and taking a bad influence out of the clubhouse. I’m not saying I’m on board with it, but if Ben Cherrington is here are some teams that may be takers.
San Diego Padres: This may seem like an odd match, but this is the same team that was willing to take John Lackey, plus with 3 of their starters on the DL they could use a pitcher right now. Beckett could also be a teacher to their young pitchers, but in baseball only.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Another interesting team, but they want pitchers at any cost. Their staff has filled up, but I’m sure they’d welcome Beckett to the team.
Los Angeles Angels: The Angels have a lot of bad contracts and they want pitching depth, so in an extreme case they could swap contract for contract. It’s not likely, but it’s a possibility.
Kansas City Royals: People have been saying all they need to contend is pitching, and with a system full of quality prospects they could match up nicely. It’d be difficult to get them to part with prospects, but the amount eaten by the Sox would determine the size of the return.
This is only list of teams that could take Beckett off our hands right now. All are long shots, but still possibilities. I think what this proved the most was that trading Beckett would be difficult and futile. They won’t get a huge return and they’d still have to pay him. I’m sorry if you hate him, but he’s likely here to stay.