If you had seen that headline a year ago when the trade deadline was approaching, you'd think it was from another planet. The Red Sox were headed to the playoffs, Josh Beckett had just been on the All-Star team, and he was heading for one of his better years.
Much has happened since then. You don't really need a recap. But Beckett is having an awful year -- in just about every way -- and that has led the Red Sox to this:
The Red Sox have had exploratory trade talks with teams involving right-hander Josh Beckett, but nothing appeared close as of Monday morning.
One team that Boston definitely spoke with regarding Beckett, according to a source, is the two-time defending American League-champion Texas Rangers, who are without valuable rotation member Colby Lewis for the rest of the season.
The Atlanta Braves also were contacted, according to another source, but they expressed far more interest in left-hander Jon Lester. However, the Red Sox aren't compelled to trade Lester, who is four years younger than the 32-year-old Beckett, and have made that clear to inquiring teams.
Beckett, as noted, is 32 and having a bad year, with a 4.57 ERA and 1.274 WHIP in 17 starts. He's also owed about $36 million for the rest of this year and the two years remaining on his contract; Boston would likely have to eat much of that money to make a deal.
It doesn't seem likely to happen, but then, many rumored deals this time of year don't. It's out there, though, so don't say you're surprised if it does.