The season's almost here, and so too may be a contract extension for Josh Beckett, according to Buster Olney:
Contract negotiations between the Boston Red Sox and right-hander Josh Beckett have progressed to the point that there is optimism a deal will be completed in the next week or two, sources close to Beckett told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.
Beckett, the sources said, has a four-year, guaranteed offer from Boston on the table. … It could be worth a total package in the range of $65 million to $70 million, sources said.
If this is indeed the framework for the deal — with a vesting fifth option or some other non-guaranteed way to add dollars and length to the contract surely to be included — that's pretty good for Boston, I think.
I've largely been ignoring the Josh Beckett signing rumors because they all sounded like the Jason Bay signing rumors (both sides express optimism, both sides agree they want the player to return, etc.) And the sides still seem to be further apart than the Sox were with Bay when those negotiations broke down, but this seems to be a promising development, particularly if a four-year deal was not rejected outright by Beckett.