Beckett, Sox to discuss hurler's future soon

Beckett, Sox to discuss hurler's future soon

BOSTON -- When ace Josh Beckett arrives at Spring Training in February, he will be gearing up for his fifth season with the Red Sox. Will it be his last?

That all depends on whether the Red Sox and Beckett can find common ground at some point over the next year.

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said that Beckett's contract status will be an internal matter but did not rule out being able to keep the righty beyond 2010.

"We don't talk about those things publicly obviously. He's put himself in a position where he's valued very highly by us," said Epstein. "He's someone that we'd obviously like to have be part of our future. Those things have a way of taking care of themselves. Certainly talking about them publicly or getting out of turn or doing things before it's the right time doesn't really make sense. We'll see what happens."

Beckett has one year left on the extension he signed in August of 2006.

Clearly, Beckett has gained tremendous comfort making his living in Boston, as evidenced by the prestigious community service award he received at a banquet on Tuesday night. And he has grown to love the urgency of each game the Red Sox play.

But he also knows that his future will be a business decision on both sides.

"Right now, I'm not too concerned with it," said Beckett. "I'm just kind of enjoying the first part of my offseason. I'll try and get started right after Thanksgiving and get back to working for the 2010 season. We'll see what happens. Obviously it's kind of up to them as far as what we talk about now. As of right now, I'm a Boston Red Sox for 2010. Unless someone tells me I'm not, that's what I'm focused on."

Beckett told that he and his agent Michael Moye plan on meeting with the Red Sox in the coming weeks to at least discuss his future.

Does the righty think something can get done?

"I don't know," Beckett said. "Obviously we just have to let the business people take care of the business end and I'll worry about the stuff I can control. This would be a fun place to [continue to] play."

What Beckett did not enjoy was the abrupt exit by the Red Sox in the Division Series, where they were swept by the Angels.

Though his second half wasn't nearly as strong as his first half, Beckett reiterated that he was fine physically, save for the bout with back spasms, which forced him to skip a start late in the season.

"I didn't have any glitches this year," said Beckett. "I woke up one morning with a stiff back. It was at the time of the year where [manager Terry Francona] and I just kind of made the decision that there was no reason to push this and have what happened last year going into the playoffs happen again. I just stunk."

But Beckett's overall body of work has been pretty good in Boston. In his four years, he is 65-34 with a 4.04 ERA. His dominance in the 2007 postseason (4-0, 1.20 ERA) propelled the Red Sox to the World Series championship.

Ian Browne is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.