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Josh Beckett ‘absolutely’ wants to stay with Red Sox unless he’s ‘not wanted’

07.27.12 at 5:52 pm ET
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Josh Beckett discussed how he views the possibility of being traded (AP)

NEW YORK — Pitcher Josh Beckett told WEEI.com that he “absolutely” wants to remain with the Red Sox and that the only thing that GM Ben Cherington “assured me during spring training that he wants me here,” but he also suggested that he would not rule out accepting a trade.

As a player with 10/5 rights (10 years in the big leagues, five with one team), Beckett (5-9 with a 4.57 ERA this year) has the right to veto a trade. He said that he’s never given consideration to where he might accept a trade because it’s never been a situation that has confronted him.

“I don’t have to [think about it],” Beckett said of where he might accept a trade. “I’ve never even been around this time of year when my name has even been a topic, so I don’t know.

But, if the Sox told the pitcher that they wanted to trade him, he would not dismiss the idea, even though he indicated his preference to stay where he is.

“Absolutely,” Beckett, 32, said of his desire to stay in Boston. “But if people don’t want you, you don’t want to be there. Obviously I have some things where it would be very difficult for them to trade me if I didn’t want to be traded. But you have to think realistically. If you’re not wanted somewhere, why stay there? Know what I mean? It kind of makes it a little more difficult. But [Cherington] assured me during spring training that he wants me here, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s just made-up fodder.”

Asked whether he still got the sense that the organization wants him to remain with the Sox, Beckett — who is signed through 2014 under a four-year, $68 million deal — said that he had no reason to believe otherwise.

“[Cherington] hasn’t said anything different with me,” said Beckett. “I was assured [during spring training] that they wanted me here. He hasn’t come to me and said that he doesn’t. Neither has John Henry or Larry Lucchino. So as I said, as far as I’m concerned, I think it’s probably just made up by somebody.”

Beckett said that he would expect that the Sox likely would talk to him about acceptable destinations for a trade before they pursued a deal so that they could avoid a scenario such as the one that the Cubs currently are experiencing with Ryan Dempster, in which the team worked out a deal with the Braves only to have Dempster say that he was not open to a trade to Atlanta.

Beckett’s preference, he said, is to remain in Boston at least through the life of his deal, though he also said that he would listen if the Sox told him that they wanted to deal him.

“Obviously I would use my 10/5 right to make sure it’s the right situation,” said Beckett. “But like I said, if somebody says they’re going to trade you, that usually means they don’t want you. I think that’s where you’d have to think about your situation and their situation. Nobody wants to be somewhere where they’re not wanted. That’s just an uncomfortable deal. Then you’re walking by people, they’re ducking their heads. It’s just uncomfortable. That wouldn’t be a good situation for me.”

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