Red Sox, Beckett closing in on deal
The Red Sox and Josh Beckett are closing in on a deal for a four-year extension for close to $70 million, sources close to the situation say. A deal is likely to be announced just after the start of the season.
Extensions completed before the regular season affect the competitive balance tax, so it makes sense for Boston to wait to finalize things.
Beckett's extension would be in addition to the $12 million he is to make in 2010, giving him five years left at almost exactly the same pay as rotation mate John Lackey, who signed as a free agent with Boston for $82.5 million over five years.
Lackey's deal includes a stipulation that he play a sixth season at the minimum if he misses any of the first five years with an elbow issue.
While there have been concerns about Beckett's arm in the past, he's been very reliable in Boston, pitching at least 174 innings in each of his four seasons there and three times pitching at least 200 innings.
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