Could the Braves have interest in Josh Beckett?
The next 30 hours will be a flurry of activity and rumors as teams try to add the final pieces to their club. The Boston Red Sox are apparently in somewhat of a sell-mode this year, and have been gauging the interest of other clubs in their starting pitchers, including Josh Beckett.
This rumor was first reported by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, and is summarized nicely on MLBTR. That rumor broke last night, and already this morning Ken Rosenthal and Buster Olney have tweeted that nothing is likely. But it is still an interesting idea.
While Beckett is having a rough season, he is coming off of an All-Star season. His velocity is down from previous years, though it is still in the low-90s. That has caused his strikeout rate to drop to a career low this season. The biggest obstacle in Beckett being an attractive option for the Braves is his price tag. He is owed $15.75 million each of the next two seasons, so any trade would likely start with the Sox sending a chunk of change Atlanta's way to bring that annual salary down into the $9 to $10 million range.
As for an upgrade this season, Beckett doesn't seem to be one. With his drop in velocity and corresponding effectiveness, he no longer profiles as that difference maker that the Braves are looking for. On the other hand, Jon Lester...
The Braves also inquired about Rockies reliever Rafael Betancourt, but he too has a high salary, signed for $4.25 million next year. I still expect that if the Braves acquire any pitching in the next 30 hours, it will likely be a reliever.