Sources: Optimism in air in Beckett talks

Updated: March 30, 2010, 8:16 PM ET
ESPN.com

Beckett
Beckett

Contract negotiations between the Boston Red Sox and right-hander Josh Beckett have progressed to the point that there is optimism a deal will be completed in the next week or two, sources close to Beckett told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.

Beckett, the sources said, has a four-year, guaranteed offer from Boston on the table. His deal could be along the lines of the free-agent contract John Lackey signed with the Red Sox this winter -- $16.5 million a year for five years -- in terms of annual salary. It could be worth a total package in the range of $65 million to $70 million, sources said.

A source with knowledge of the negotiations told ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes that the Red Sox would not go to a fifth year in their talks with Beckett.

The three-year, $30 million extension Beckett signed in 2006 expires at the end of the season. He is coming off a 17-win season and has won 65 games in his four seasons in Boston.

The 30-year-old Beckett is scheduled to pitch Major League Baseball's regular-season opener Sunday night at Fenway Park against the New York Yankees.

Buster Olney is a senior baseball writer for ESPN The Magazine.

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