Why you sign Josh Beckett, today.
The ‘comps’ are flying, everyone is writing about Josh and his worth to the team, his potential value this winter, his health, all the things you hear when someone enters a walk year on a contract.
Here’s why, barring some freakish medical issue which I assume he doesn’t have or there would be bigger problems, you sign Josh now.
The one worry, other than health, you have when signing ANY player to a long term contract is the player themselves. Are they going to keep grinding, working, wanting it?
That’s where this becomes a no brainer. I know Josh as well as anyone knows Josh. There is not a sliver of a chance that you get anything less than his total focus, concentration and effort for every day he’s under contract, no matter what his uniform says.
Josh works from a different perspective than many, it’s why he was so good so young. He pushes himself with an internal bar and set of values that not many kids have. That isn’t going to change, in fact I’d argue that it’s only gotten ‘better’ over the past few years. He knows he’s in the games toughest division, he knows who people consider the best and I promise you he doesn’t ever take the ball, no matter who he is facing, and not believe 100% he’s going to not only win, but dominate.
He’s getting to a stage in his career where the mental work, the prep work, is going to meet and surpass the physical effort. Which in his case is saying something because he’s a kid who does work his ass off and does want to be the best. When he does combine max effort in the mental preparation arena (which is not to say he hasn’t before, but as you age you learn different things about yourself and the game) with his physical preparation, things could get interesting.
I do believe Jon Lester is an ace in the making, he’s going to be a legit #1 very soon, if not this year, the only thing stopping that is his command, when that comes he’s as good as there is, combining that with Josh, with Dice, with Clay and Lackey, there aren’t many deeper or more talented rotations anywhere.
You lock Josh up you lock up the top 3 spots in your rotation (well 4 if you don’t trade Clay) for the next 3-5 years, and each of those spots is occupied by a 1 or a 2. In the AL East you go into each season with a legitimate shot at winning it all with that mix.
Here’s the other thing. Whatever you perceive Josh’s value to be at the end of this deal the one thing you know for sure is that he’ll still be giving you every ounce of everything he has, that’s just who he is. You cannot say the same thing for other guys around the league.
Oh and for what it’s worth noted baseball expert Peter Abraham said that I think the Sox should sign Josh because he ‘tries really hard’. Apologies on my part since I obviously thought that teams only consider a player ‘trying really hard’ when committing 75 or so million, not withstanding his 65-34 regular season record, him basically carrying the team to the 2007 WS title, the fact that he’s only going to be 31, ya Peter my apologies for not having the insight into a players makeup or the teams process like the ‘experts’ over at the Globe.