Beckett inks three-year extension

Beckett inks three-year extension

BOSTON -- Just moments after his most dominating outing in a Red Sox uniform, Josh Beckett had his 12th victory and a three-year contract extension to celebrate.

The Boston Globe reported the deal was worth a guaranteed $30 million, including a $2 million signing bonus and a $12 million club option for 2010, with the option automatically kicking in if Beckett makes 28 starts in 2009 or has a combined 56 starts between 2008 and 2009.

"It is something that has definitely been weighing on me this week," Beckett said. "We've been talking about it for a while. It's nice to get it over with and move on. It didn't drag out. Things take time. It didn't get finished until [Tuesday] night. I'm happy here. These are the greatest fans in the world. It was a deal where it gives me security and that's always a big thing but it was also because I wanted to stay here and play in front of these fans and at this stadium."

After Beckett held the Royals to four hits over eight innings to lead the Sox to their second straight 1-0 win over Kansas City, manager Terry Francona broke the news to the media while praising his starting pitcher's performance.

"He threw the ball so well that I think Theo [Epstein] just gave him a three-year deal," Francona said. "I'm serious. He pitches good next time, he might get a six-year [deal]."

Beckett, 26, is in his first season with Boston and was arbitration-eligible following this season. The new contract will keep Beckett in Boston through the 2009 season. His eight-inning shutout performance Wednesday improved his record to 12-5, tying him with Roy Halladay for the AL lead.

Epstein said formal negotiations on the new contract began just before the All-Star break and concluded Tuesday night.

"I think the talent was obvious from Day 1, the day the organization traded for him," Epstein said of the trade with Florida on November 25, 2005. "It was just a matter of getting to know Josh a little bit as a person, see his work ethic, see how committed he was to personal accomplishment as well as team success. I think when we saw that, there were no doubts that we wanted to extend him, it was just a matter of finding the right time."

Assistant general manager Jed Hoyer was active in brokering the deal.

"He had one more year under our control anyway," Epstein added. "I think you started to see last year that sometimes free agent contracts for pitchers can get a little bit out of control and as a five-plus [year] player, Josh might have the benefit of comparing himself to those free agents. If we were able to get to a deal we were comfortable with, we thought now was the time because we didn't want anyone to change the market for us."

Mike Petraglia is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.