While the Toronto Blue Jays are still mulling over their options heading into Tuesday’s Major League Baseball trade deadline it appears at least one of their rivals are prepared to throw in the towel as far as post-season aspirations are concerned.
The Boston Red Sox are in a mess – have been for most of the year under new manager Bobby Valentine – and reports have started to surface that the American League club is willing to entertain talk about dumping one-time ace Josh Beckett.
And so desperate are the Red Sox to move Beckett, Jeff Passon of Yahoo.com is reporting that the club is willing to swallow money remaining on Beckett’s two-plus years and approximately $37.5-million contract.
According to Passan, Boston officials have placed calls to teams including Texas and Atlanta within the last two days gauging interest in the right-hander,A former 20-game winning in 2007, Beckett is 5-9 this year with a 4.57 ERA with the Red Sox, who began the day in last place in the A.L. East with a record of 51-51.
Boston is four games out of the A.L.’s second wild card spot with five other teams in their way.
With an opening day payroll of about $175.2-million that is not sitting well with the baseball mad denizens of Beantown.
Beckett’s fall from grace has been building steam since late last season when he was identified as one of the ringleaders in the chicken-and-beer flap.
And he didn’t do himself any favours earlier this year when he was discovered out on the golf course a day after he was scratched from a start with an injury.
Beckett is clearly on the downside of his career with a diminished fastball and the likelihood of his being traded at this stage of his career would seem unlikely.
And Beckett holds the upper hand as he would have to waive his five-and-10 rights for any deal to go through.