Someone Is Nutty Enough To Claim Josh Beckett

Per the tweet above from Sean McAdam, Josh Beckett was claimed on waivers by someone with a lot of money to burn, apparently. When I wrote about Beckett’s trade value yesterday, I guessed that that the Red Sox would have to pick up $20 million or so of the remaining $36 million left on his deal. By putting in a waiver claim, the unnamed team is agreeing to take the entire contract, and let Boston off the hook for the remainder of the deal.

This is pretty great news for Boston, assuming that Beckett’s 10-and-5 rights don’t come into play and allow him to block any deal. By virtue of the CBA, Beckett has a blanket no-trade clause, though it is somewhat unclear if those rights can be used to block assignment via waivers. I believe the answer is yes, but am not 100% certain. Either way, I’d imagine the Red Sox will give Beckett whatever he wants to waive those rights and go to a team that actually wants to pay him $36 million for the next 2+ years.

In terms of who the claimant is, speculation focuses on the Dodgers mostly because they quite obviously have a large amount of money and are not afraid to throw it around. They were awarded claims for Cliff Lee, Adrian Gonzalez, and Joe Blanton already, and took the remainder of Hanley Ramirez‘s deal before the trade deadline, so taking on money has clearly not been a discouragement to adding talent. However, with Clayton Kershaw, Chris Capuano, Chad Billingsley, Aaron Harang, and Joe Blanton already in the rotation, it’s not clear that Beckett would be a significant piece for the Dodgers this year, and they almost certainly could have landed a better pitcher in free agency this winter.

We should find out soon who the claiming team is, because it would be a pretty huge shock if Boston pulled him back. Perhaps an even bigger shock than the fact that he got claimed in the first place.

Update: It is the Dodgers. Potential theory – they agreed to take Beckett in an Adrian Gonzalez trade. This will make more sense if Gonzalez ends up in LA.

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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

39 Responses to “Someone Is Nutty Enough To Claim Josh Beckett”

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  1. John says:

    Odds of Beckett bouncing back to last year form?

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    • Ashman says:

      In the NL and in dodger stadium.. not bad I don’t think. Certainly trust him in a playoff run more than fatface Harang As a dodger fan, adding beckett for 0 prospects is a win IMO.. adding Beckett and Agon for whatever prospects the Sox want, would make me a very happy boy

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      • Alex says:

        Beckett seems to be good every other year. He’s an odd pitcher. Ha. hahahahahaha. haaaahaha. I’ll show myself out

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  2. anon says:

    maybe they claimed him for the lulz.

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  3. Calvin says:

    Click my name for the only possible reaction

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  4. JoshEngleman says:

    6 years, $127 million left on Gonzalez’s deal from age 31 through 36. From what I can tell, ZIPS would have him around 4.5 wins for 2013. Letting him go and re-allocating the resources doesn’t seem like the worst decision in the world. A lot has changed in the 16 months since he signed the extension.

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    • Calvin says:

      That’s still somewhat of an overpay at 21/year, just for AGon, assuming he starts at 4.5 and declines as expected, but it is an upgrade in a playoff race and their current 1b production is somewhere between execrable and nonexistent.

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  5. Brian says:

    Assuming the Beckett claim was so they can work out a deal for AGon, what stops the Red Sox from just nixing the trade and giving them Beckett?

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    • Ivan Grushenko says:

      I don’t understand this either. Maybe Beckett wants some cash to waive his 10-5 rights and the Dodgers would pick that up if Gonzalez were involved? That may sound far-fetched but it’s the best I could come up with.

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    • I was thinking the same thing. There is nothing that says that the Red Sox can’t just dump Beckett on LA right now, dust the hands off.

      What this suggests is that the Red Sox really wants out of the Crawford deal enough in order to dump three of their largest contracts on LA. That would leave only Lackey’s contract as a big albatross on their books long-term. And that could work with LA’s poor farm system, as the BoSox pick up some prospects to replace the ones they gave up for AGon in the first place. Ruby and a few position players would replace Kelly and Rizzo’s places in their farm system, plus they dump two big contracts in Beckett and Crawford that don’t look good right now.

      And Crawford probably would be an upgrade on Victorino right now, so we could see The Flying Hawaiian being let go in some way if this trade goes through.

      And per this comment, if they can’t come to any agreement with LA, just dump Beckett on them, and be done with it.

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      • Alan says:

        Crawford is done for the rest of this season and Victorino is a free agent in the off-season, so that won’t be an issue.

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      • Dro says:

        Plus, with all these contracts gone, Lackey’s contract isn’t so much an albatross anyways…if his struggles last year were due to the elbow problem, and the time off helps him slow down his decline a bit, he might actually be pretty solid…plus he has that extra year at minimum salary tacked on now, so that’s a plus.

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  6. Table says:


    A Gonzalez, Crawford, Beckett, and Punto all going to Dodgers!?!?!??!!?!??!?!!!!!

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    • Sleight of Hand Pro says:

      and you probably thought the angels taking vernon wells was the worst trade in history.

      move over reagins, theres a new sheriff in town.

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    • Move _____ get out the way says:

      Dodgers minor leaguers in the trade talks have included Allen Webster, Zach Lee, Rubby De La Rosa, and Jerry Sands, tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.

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    • jcxy says:

      Wow. Wow. Wow.

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  7. fergie348 says:

    I’m guessing Loney goes east in any deal like this. If the Dodgers make the playoffs, are these guys eligible to play? I’m not really understanding why this is happening now..

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  8. Jerry says:

    I would think the Red Sox aren’t held back by financial reasons as much as almost any other team, so this deal makes little sense to me. I think they have the talent to compete next year if they play their cards right. Getting rid of Beckett who has underperformed this year and is at the center of a lot of the negativity surrounding the Sox is acceptable even for a rich contender. But Gonzalez? Even Crawford who is vastly overpaid is valuable. They better hope there is a HUGE free agent market and that eveyr available player is willing to join the Red Sox because money to spend won’t ensure they bring back enough talent.

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    • JimNYC says:

      $261 million dollars in payroll. The Dodgers are assuming $261 million in payroll obligations for a pitcher who’s forgotten how to pitch, a left fielder who’s been worth 0.6 total WAR in the first two years of his mega-contract, and a 1Bman who is likely to have a bounceback, but who’s currently got a slugging percentage roughly equal to Derek Jeter’s.

      From the Red Sox perspective, this is the greatest trade in sports history, even if they get nothing at all back from the Dodgers.

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  9. chri521 says:

    Source: #Dodgers have agreed to send Allen Webster, James Loney, Jerry Sands, Ivan De Jesus, and Rubby De La Rosa to #RedSox. @MLBONFOX

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  10. Ben Hall says:

    Dave–If this deal goes through, perhaps an impromptu chat, a la Vernon Wells?

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    • Sean O'Neill says:

      I’d hope so, as this deal is larger, and arguably even more unprecedented. A quarter of a billion dollars in guaranteed contracts shipped out, multiple good prospects in return (De La Rosa AND Webster? Sands’ 1.131 OPS in the 2nd half/since his return to his original swing?), a white flag from a perennial contender and the rise of the NYY-Western Edition?

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  11. BillWallace says:

    So I’m guessing what really happened is the dodgers and sox were discussing gonzalez and then they decided that including Beckett as a negative value piece would help. But rather then have Beckett clear waivers, which he probably would have, the sox informally agreed not to stick the dodgers with him alone if they claimed so they could include him in the talks.

    Or the Dodgers are dumb.

    Maybe the Dodgers are just dumb.

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    • John C says:

      I’m pretty sure that’s what happened. Crawford and Loney had already gone through waivers. The Sox put Beckett and A-Gon up at the same time, knowing the Dodgers were going to claim both of them. I’m sure this was all agreed to days ago.

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  12. fergie348 says:

    Well, we’ll see if Colletti’s collection of misfit toys can manage to crawl to the postseason this year. Beyond this year, they’re pretty screwed..

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  13. El Guapo says:

    Waiting for tomorrow’s article “Someone is even crazier to take James Loney.”

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    • John C says:

      Loney is a FA at the end of the season, so the Red Sox are only on the hook for five weeks. Plus, he’s actually not a bad hitter away from Dodger Stadium (career OPS of .813).

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  14. fronttoback says:

    Are they dumb? Gonzalez represents a huge upgrade, they give up two good arms, and take on a lot of cash. But, if they have a glut of cash, wouldn’t they be able to have a higher cost associated with each win than other teams? What we don’t know is what the ceiling is, how much they can comfortably spend per win. They went over the top in acquiring the team…perhaps they’re resetting the bar for what a team is willing to pay for a win. If the goal is winning, the move doesn’t detract from the major league team (or gut the farm), and it’s just cash when you have a ton….it makes sense.

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    • The Foils says:

      Love this perspective.

      A win is worth what people will pay for it. People are starting to pay a lot for wins.

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  15. Liberace says:

    the scary thing about this is that Coletti may actually win a WS. Sabean having one was already too much for me to handle.

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    • Jack says:

      At least Sabean has a history of decent moves… 03-08 were pathetically bad but he was great before and average afterward…. Coletti is Dayton Moore without the excuse of being in Kansas City.

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  16. Bh says:

    Clown trade, bro.

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  17. maqman says:

    The Dodgers are building value for their forthcoming TV negotiations with Fox and other cable operators, or planning on starting their own local TV network like the Yankees did with YES. They need names and a near horizon to max out their broadcast potential. Fox was going to give Frank McCourt $2 billion and the team was sucking. The guys who bought the team are money men with a plan, they know just what they are doing. They are buying relevance.

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    • widm says:

      Relevance only comes with team success (especially in a market like that of LA!), and it is questionable if their acquisitions would help them make the playoffs this year. And it is certainly no guarantee that these moves will push them over the edge.

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  18. kodamatree says:

    Ah look, Beckett is still only so-so.
    Only question is, does he really just suck since getting the huge contract?
    Or is he just taking it easy because he has guaranteed money setup?
    Will he suddenly find himself during the last year of his contract?
    ‘Oh hey, I found a mechanical flaw in my delivery.’
    No, you stopped eating fried chicken 5 days a week.

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