By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Despite being scratched at the last minute from his All-Star Game appearance, all indications are that Josh Beckett will make his next scheduled start, Sunday night.
Beckett, who suffered a hyperextended knee in his final start before the break, felt some inflammation in the knee while warming up prior to the second inning in Phoenix Tuesday night.
Beckett stressed at the time that he did so mainly as a precaution. The Sox plan to have Beckett throw a light side session Friday, and unless there's a setback then, will have him start Sunday.
"He's pretty confident he'll pitch Sunday," said Terry Francona. "If, for some reason he can't, we'll back him up a couple of days. I have a feeling that's going to be the worst-case scenario, which is good . . . I don't think it's going to be much of an issue."
If for some reason Beckett can't pitch the series finale here, the Sox would move up Kyle Weiland. If Beckett starts as scheduled, Tim Wakefield would pitch Monday in Baltimore and Weiland Tuesday.
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Forget that cryptic Tweet to the Globe. David Ortiz isn't walking through that door, fans. At least not as a player.
"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. "Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow.' Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency."
No one really thought he was contemplating a comeback, but last week he Tweeted this . . .
. . . and that raised hopes that he'd changed his mind.
Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.
Terms of the deals were not announced.
It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.