Extra Bases

Setting the market for Beckett

 Every player is different and circumstances change. But the recent signings of John Lackey, Felix Hernandez and now Justin Verlander have given the Red Sox and Josh Beckett a fairly good idea of the market as they try and negotiate an extension.

Let’s take a closer look:

John Lackey (Red Sox)
Deal: Five years, $82.5 million with a conditional option for 2015.
Average annual value: $16.5 million
Age: 31
Career innings: 1,501
Career WHIP: 1.306
Career ERA: 3.81


Felix Hernandez (Mariners)
Deal: Five years, $78 million
Average annual value: $15.6 million
Age: 23
Career innings: 905
Career WHIP: 1.271
Career ERA: 3.45


Justin Verlander (Tigers)
Deal: Five years, $80 million
Average annual value: $16 million
Age: 27.
Career innings: 840
Career WHIP: 1.285
Career ERA: 3.92


Josh Beckett (Red Sox)
Deal: Expires after 2010 season.
Age: Turns 30 in May.
Career innings: 1,401.
Career WHIP: 1.218
Career ERA: 3.79

Add in the deal the Yankees gave A.J. Burnett last season (five years, $82.5 million) and it’s pretty evident that Beckett will be seeking pretty a deal worth at least $16.5 million a year over a period of four or five years.

It could behoove the Sox to make a deal now as the Yankees could well be looking to add at least one starter next winter. Andy Pettitte is year to year at this point and is pitching with a balky shoulder while Javy Vazquez is up after the season, too.

The question becomes whether you want to see Beckett pitch in 2010 before signing him or get it done now. The longer it goes, the less chance you have of bringing him back.

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