|Beckett and Bay’s Boston Futures||11.03.09 at 7:07 pm ET|
On a night when Josh Beckett was honored at the Champions for Children’s event in recognition of his foundation’s contributions to Children’s Hospital Boston, both Beckett and Red Sox GM Theo Epstein spoke briefly about the pitcher’s future in Boston, as well as that of free-agent outfielder Jason Bay.
Beckett’s $12.1 million option for 2010 vested when he made 28 starts this year. After the season, barring an extension with the Sox, Beckett — at age 30 — would reach free agency for the first time in his career.
The prospect does not seem to weigh on the pitcher.
“Right now, I’m not too concerned with it. I’m just kind of enjoying the first part of my offseason,” Beckett said. “We’ll see what happens. It’s kind of up to them what we talk about now. As of now, I’m a Boston Red Sox in 2010. Unless somebody tells me I’m not, that’s what I’m focused on.”
“We have to let the business people take care of the business,” added Beckett. “This would be a fun place to play.”
Epstein suggested that the club did not want to disclose details of negotiations with one of its own players. Even so, he made clear that the Sox would welcome the possibility of keeping the pitcher beyond his current contract.
“It’s been really fun for us to watch him mature on and off the field during his time in Boston,” Epstein said. “He’s put himself in a position to be valued very highly by us. He’s someone we’d obviously like have to be a part of our future. Those things have a way of taking care of themselves. … We’ll see what happens.”
Both also weighed in on free-agent outfielder Jason Bay.
“I think he’s very important,” said Beckett. “I hope they do something with him. … He is very important to our team.”
“The fundamentals are in place,” said Epstein, repeating his prior statements on the matter. “He really wants to be here and we’d love to have them, but sometimes players need to go through the process (of free agency).”
Epstein said the team will wait until the last possible date to make any decisions with pkayer options, but he did say that “all the reports are positive” in Tim Wakefield’s recovery from surgery.
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