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.
The Nationals made a handful of roster decisions on Tuesday, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Pitcher Wander Suero was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse and 1B/OF Matt Adams was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured left index finger. With the two open roster spots, the Nationals recalled pitcher Jefry Rodriguez from Syracuse to start against the Orioles and added recently-acquired reliever Kelvin Herrera to the roster.
Adams, 29, was hit on the hand attempting to lay down a bunt on Friday. He has been quite productive for the Nationals this year, batting .275/.351/.575 with 13 home runs and 36 RBI in 171 plate appearances.
Adams was splitting time at first base with Mark Reynolds. Daniel Murphy drew starts at first base over the weekend, so it could be a Reynolds/Murphy split there now with Wilmer Difo remaining at second base.
In his major league debut on June 3, the 24-year-old Rodriguez pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Jeremy Hellickson, who lasted just one-third of an inning. Tuesday’s start will be his first at the big league level. At Double-A Harrisburg this season, Rodriguez posted a 3.31 ERA with a 72/28 K/BB ratio in 68 innings.