Source: Rangers, Braves, Dodgers in hunt for Beckett

Source: Rangers, Braves, Dodgers in hunt for Beckett
July 30, 2012, 8:14 pm
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BOSTON -- The Red Sox are willing to listen when it comes to dealing pitcher Josh Beckett, a baseball source said, but they're not aggressively seeking to move him before Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver deadline.

In addition to the Texas Rangers and the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers -- who continue to talk about a deal with the Chicago Cubs for starter Ryan Dempster -- have called to inquire about Beckett.

The source said the Sox are not aggressively shopping Beckett and won't take back much of the approximately 37 million remaining on his contract. But in a thin pitching market, if a team is willing to make it worth the Red Sox' while, the Sox are not opposed to listening to what teams have to offer.

Another source, while not ruling out the possibility of a deal, put the odds of the Sox moving Beckett at less than 50-50.

Beckett, of course, has 10-5 rights -- 10 years in the big leagues, the last five with the same team -- and as such, has the right to veto any deal.

The Sox haven't been anywhere close to the point where they've approached Beckett about getting his permission for a deal. The Red Sox would have to most of the parameters of a deal in place before going to Beckett, who is scheduled to pitch Tuesday night against the Detroit Tigers.

The Rangers' invovlement is noteworthy because, only last week, some officials expressed open concern about his impact on the Texas clubhouse.

"Obviously,'' said a baseball executive with one club, "his reputation from a national standpoint isn't very good right now (following the chicken-and-beer scandal last fall and Beckett's involvement in a golf outing in May after he was scratched from his next start).''

But in recent days, after a number of available starting pitchers were dealt elsewhere -- including Anibal Sanchez, Francisco Liriano, and especially Zach Greinke -- the Rangers are said to have softened their chance, especially since Greinke was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Rangers' biggest threat in the A.L. West.

The Dodgers, suddenly flush with cash from new ownership, have been aggressive on the trade front, obtaining shortstop Hanley Ramirez -- ironically, the top prospect in the deal that brought Beckett to Boston in December of 2005 -- from the Miami Marlins last week, while agreeing to absorb all of his remaining 38 million in salary obligations.

The Braves, who no longer spend as they once did, would seem to the least likely of the three interested teams to take on most of Beckett's money. But they have shortage of young pitching prospects to make a deal if the money could be worked out.