Red Sox won't give Beckett more than four years

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beckett headshot.JPGGordon Edes of ESPN Boston heard from an insider source Saturday that the Red Sox will not give more than a four-year deal to right-handed starter Josh Beckett.

It’s not shocking news.  The Red Sox dolled out a five-year, $82.5 million contract to John Lackey this offseason and a six-year, $52 million deal to Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2006.  Boston GM Theo Epstein is smart enough to know that locking up multiple aging starting pitchers is a bad idea and will avoid that path with the soon-to-be 30-year-old Beckett.  If Edes’ source is correct, it’s fair to wonder whether the right-hander will be moving on to another club once winter hits.

Beckett, who went 17-6 with a 3.86 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 199 strikeouts last year, is entering the final season of a three-year, $30 million extension.  There are some concerns about the durability of his right shoulder.

Bryce Harper finally gets his first spring training hit with Phillies

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Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper hasn’t had the best spring training showing. After a delayed start because he didn’t officially sign until early this month, Harper made his Phillies debut on March 9. Then Harper had an injury scare when he was hit in the ankle by a pitch on March 15. Harper returned on Sunday and finally registered his first hit of the spring on Wednesday — a line drive up the middle.

Harper finished 1-for-2 with a walk on the afternoon. In 10 official at-bats, Harper is batting .100/.438/.100. As you can see, five total walks are helping that on-base percentage. Spring stats are largely meaningless, though, so no one should be worried about Harper with the start of the regular season just a week away.