Monday, April 5, 2010

Josh Beckett Gets A Well-Deserved Extension

Josh Beckett has signed a four-year, 68 million dollar extension with the Red Sox. For all you playing at home, that works out to $17 million per year.

Beckett gets a $5 million signing bonus and yearly salaries of $15.75 million. The deal was agreed to a few days ago but by waiting until after Opening Day, the Sox will not be taxed by MLB on the signing bonus.

Trust Theo to find an extra angle to help the team out. Beckett also got limited no-trade protection until he hits his 10/5 status.

Now, some people will make the requisite jokes about Beckett signing this extension after last night's poor performance. That is to be expected. But other people have made the claim that Beckett does not deserve this contract. That he is over-rated. One wag in a message board called him barely better than Gil Meche. Not even close. That is so fundamentally wrong it makes my head hurt. Let's settle this once and for all.

Josh Beckett joined the Sox in 2006. Over the next four years he was consistently one of the best starting pitchers in the American League. Here are some stats and where Beckett ranks among starting pitchers with a minimum 60 decisions in the AL between 2006-09. Everyone got that?

65 wins: 2nd

65-34, .657 win percentage: 4th

4.05 ERA: 14th

116 ERA+: 9th

723 K: 3rd

792 IP: 6th

6 complete games: 7th

1.205 WHIP: 3rd

3.56 K/BB ratio: 6th

I trust you're getting the picture here. Beckett has unarguably been one of the best starters in the AL during his first four years in Boston. The stats back that up. With the exception of ERA, Beckett is top ten in every major category over the last four years. How can you not want him in your rotation? Beckett has more than earned this extension.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I can't believe I'm going to be the one to do this, Dave, but Theo as showed just how good a GM he is an another way.

By waiting until after Opening Day, he saved the Sox about $4 million against the luxury tax threshold.

If Beckett had signed before Sunday night's opener, the money from the extension would have been factored into Beckett's average salary for this year -- about $16 million. By waiting a day, Beckett counts only about $12.1 million -- the average of his previous contract -- toward the threshold.