The Red Sox announced that Josh Beckett had agreed to a three year contract extension worth up to $30 million. This keeps Beckett away from arbitration at the end of the season and locks him up for at least two years beyond when he would hit free agency. Considering what the Blue Jays are paying former teammate A.J. Burnett, this deal could not look any better for the Red Sox.

The money is not insane. It is less than Beckett would get in arbitration. Heck, it is a whole heck of a lot cheaper than what he would get on the open market with the Yankees tossing $15 million (or more) per season at him. Yes, the Yankees. Believe it or not, the Yankees are in the market for starting pitching. Think they would not want to steal Beckett from the Red Sox.

To hear the Big mOron on WEEI blab about it on the way home today, I was shocked at his say anything to stir up crap for no reason attitude. Beckett is coming off a spectacular performance. He has twelve wins already this season. He is young, has a great curveball, has an explosive fastball, and could be the heir apparent to Curt Schilling (although Papelbon should be in the rotation next year, no matter what, as far as I am concerned).

Personally I do not care if Beckett gives up 50 home runs a season every year as long as he keeps winning games. Twelve wins in the middle of July, and all anyone can do in the media is criticize the poor kid. Kid is the operative term. Beckett is the same age as Jonathan Papelbon. Let him learn to pitch in the American League from Curt Schilling. Let him mature as a pitcher. Let him be Josh Beckett.

Beckett, Papelbon, and Lester: that is a hell of a big three for the next ten years in the rotation. Edgar Martinez, Manny Delcarmen, and Craig Hansen could be the power arms to close out the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings for the next ten years. Theo has done a hell of a job getting the pieces in place. Beckett is a huge piece of the puzzle. It is great news that he is not going anywhere for the foreseeable future.