UPDATE: The Boston Herald’s Scott Lauber hears from colleague Michael Silverman that Beckett’s deal will be worth $68 million over four years.
6:11pm: Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Red Sox and right-hander Josh Beckett are close to agreement on a four-year contract extension worth around $70 million.
The Red Sox set out to keep the length of the 29-year-old’s new contract under five years. It appears they have accomplished that goal, all the while agreeing to pay Beckett a handsome (and well-deserved) $17.5 million annual salary. For reference, the Red Sox handed a five-year, $82.5 million ($16.5M per season) free agent contract to John Lackey this
offseason and a six-year, $52 million ($8.7M per season) deal to Daisuke Matsuzaka back in 2006.
Beckett, who turns 30 in May, went 17-6 with a 3.86 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 199 strikeouts in 2009 and is
entering the final season of a three-year, $30 million extension.