All he did was walk to the visitor’s clubhouse since New York is in Seattle for a three-game series. Will Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett have a similar story in Texas?
Beckett, who is 5-8 with a 4.53 ERA, is a key reason why the Red Sox are 48-49, 10.5 games behind the Yankees and in the American League East basement. Boston is 13-23 in games started by Beckett and Jon Lester, both of whom were expected to serve as the co-aces of the rotation.
Though Beckett is having a forgettable season, and he is under contract for $15.75 a season through 2014, the 32-year-old right-hander might be appealing to the Rangers, and the Rangers would interest Beckett.
Texas has a potent lineup, reliable set-up men and a formidable closer (Neftali Feliz), but the rotation can use improvement. Currently, left-hander Matt Harrison and right-hander Yu Darvish are the top two starters.
Right-hander Colby Lewis is out of the season with a tear in his right elbow tendon, and Roy Oswalt was scratched from Monday’s scheduled start because of lower back tightness. Left-hander Derek Holland, who is considered the team’s No. 3 starter, is just 6-5 with a 4.84 ERA.
Media reports indicate that the Rangers are contemplating moving the versatile Alexi Ogando into the rotation, but even if they do, the club will likely acquire a starting pitcher by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
The ace-caliber targets include Philadelphia left-hander Cole Hamels and Milwaukee right-hander Zack Greinke, but one or the other would require top prospects from the Rangers system. Beckett would not.
The Red Sox, which are still in contention for a wild card spot but have lacked consistency all season from their starting rotation, might want to unload Beckett to improve the clubhouse culture that was severely stained starting with last September’s monumental collapse.
Boston might even throw in money to cover Beckett’s remaining deal, and chances are he could be obtained without surrendering a top prospect.
Beckett has “10-5” trade rights, but he would likely approve a trade to the Rangers since he is from Texas.
The Red Sox and Rangers close a three-game series on Wednesday. Even if Beckett does not pack his bags and stroll to the Rangers clubhouse before the Red Sox depart, likely he will be traded in the off-season, and Texas is a potential destination.