Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Beckett deal a lesson in avoiding distraction

Josh Beckett and the Boston Red Sox agreed on a four-year deal worth $68 million. In one move, the Red Sox eliminated Beckett's impending free agency as a possible distraction from the team's quest to dethrone the New York Yankees as baseball's champs. Why couldn't the Yankees do the same thing?

I know, I know. It's the Yankees policy not to negotiate with signed players until their contracts expire and that's why they couldn't even talk to Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera about new deals. Except that it really isn't. They signed Jeter to his current 10-year deal well before he hit free agency. It was a smart move then and would have been a smart move now.

By waiting, the Yankees failed to eliminate a potential distraction. Brian Cashman better get used to constantly answering the contract questions. The media has already made it clear that they believe the expiring contracts are a major issue, even if Jeter and Mo don't agree. In fact, the only reason the issue died in spring training was because of the latest Alex Rodriguez controversy. If the two Yankee legends get off to monster starts, we'll start seeing story after story questioning the Yankees judgment and guessing about how expensive it's going to be for the Yankees to re-sign both players. It's a distraction the Yankees could have done without.

Thanks to User PhreddieH3 on en.wikipedia for the photo.

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