Arlington, TX, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett (19) throws a pitch during the first inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE
According to Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan, multiple sources have claimed that the Red Sox are attempting to move Josh Beckett to teams they know he would be willing to pitch for. As Beckett has 10-and-5 rights, giving him a 24-hour window to accept or reject any trade, this is a necessary step with less than two full days remaining before the non-waiver trade deadline of July 31.
The Red Sox have reportedly contacted both the Rangers and the Braves, two teams they believe Beckett would accept a trade to, and two teams whose interest in starting pitching help is no secret. The Braves reportedly had a deal for Ryan Dempster in place that fell through, while the Rangers recently lost Colby Lewis for the season to elbow surgery, while Neftali Feliz had a setback in his rehab for his own elbow, just days before and after the second-place Angels acquired Zack Greinke from the Brewers.
As Passan says, the likelihood of a deal rests with just how much of the $37.3 million left on Beckett's deal the Red Sox are willing to eat. Both the Braves and Rangers have the prospects to send Boston in exchange for Beckett, but given the 32-year-old right-hander has seen a decrease in his velocity, fastball usage, and strikeout rate, it's going to take absorbing some of the cost of the contract in order to get at those kids.
As more time goes by, it's less likely the Red Sox will move Beckett, given that 24-hour window for approval, especially since they might also need to line up a trade for another starter to replace him. They could always slot Franklin Morales back into the rotation, though, so that last bit isn't a definite need, even if it would leave them with just the one lefty in the bullpen.
It's unlikely Boston would just dump Beckett's deal on someone else, given the need to eat money, as well as the fact Boston is 51-51, just four games out of a playoff spot with two months to go and their first healthy roster of the season on the way. It would likely take a great return to force that kind of deal, but it's unclear if a great return can happen without eating money on the contract anyway.
[Update 8:05 am] Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that calls were made, but it's "unlikely" any deal will be reached involving Josh Beckett.