The Boston Red Sox have entertained trade discussions regarding starting pitcher Josh Beckett from three teams, Comcast SportsNet New England's Sean McAdam reported Monday. But the Red Sox are not desperate to deal Beckett and would have to be blown away by an offer to deal him.
McAdam reported that the Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers have all inquired about Beckett's availability ahead of Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET trade deadline. McAdam pegs the Rangers' interest as the most intriguing:
The Rangers' involvement is noteworthy because, only last week, some officials expressed open concern about his impact on the Texas clubhouse.
"Obviously,'' said a baseball executive with one club, "his reputation from a national standpoint isn't very good right now (following the chicken-and-beer scandal last fall and Beckett's involvement in a golf outing in May after he was scratched from his next start).''
But in recent days, after a number of available starting pitchers were dealt elsewhere -- including Anibal Sanchez, Francisco Liriano, and especially Zach Greinke -- the Rangers are said to have softened their chance, especially since Greinke was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Rangers' biggest threat in the A.L. West.
The Rangers are exploring all options ahead of the trade deadline, with their pitching staff hampered by injuries. They have reportedly also asked about the Philadelphia Phillies' Cliff Lee, but those discussions also appear to be going nowhere. Texas needs a starter after losing Colby Lewis for the season and with Roy Oswalt battling back issues.
Beckett is a 10-and-5 player — 10 years in the major leagues, at least five with the same team — and could veto any trade. He did tell Boston radio station WEEI last Friday, though, that he would think about accepting a trade if it was clear the Red Sox didn’t want to keep him.
“Absolutely,” Beckett, 32, said of his desire to stay in Boston. “But if people don’t want you, you don’t want to be there. Obviously I have some things where it would be very difficult for them to trade me if I didn’t want to be traded. But you have to think realistically. If you’re not wanted somewhere, why stay there? Know what I mean? It kind of makes it a little more difficult.”Beckett is signed through 2014 on a four-year, $68 million contract extension he signed in 2010. He's just 5-9 this season with a 4.52 ERA.