Boston Red Sox: Is It Time to Trade Josh Beckett?

Jeff KayerCorrespondent IMay 10, 2012

BOSTON, MA - MAY 10:  Josh Beckett #19 of the Boston Red Sox watches as  a ball hit by Jack Hannahan #9 of the Cleveland Indians leaves the field for a two-run home run in the second inning at Fenway Park May 10, 2012  in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

All it took was 2 1/3 innings to have savior-turned-hated-son Josh Beckett to get chased from his start against the Cleavland Indians at Fenway Park.

Like any great pitcher, Beckett has had his off-nights.  But this one could not come at a worse time.

Less than a week since it was revealed Beckett missed a start due to a pulled lat muscle and subsequently played golf, he gave up seven runs in under three innings against an Indians team that unlike the Red Sox, is actually playing decent baseball.

In Beckett's defense, it's not like his team is doing any better.  The Red Sox fell to 12-19 on the year and have a pathetic 4-11 home record, the second worst in the majors.  

The problem for Beckett is he is fast becoming the most recognizable face for the total dysfunction that has permeated this team since last September.  From the reports of him eating chicken, drinking beers and playing video games in the clubhouse to his latest golf outing, it makes his 5.97 ERA even more unforgivable.

At 31 years old, Beckett should still be enjoying his prime years, and he has helped the Red Sox win the 2007 World Series.  But with his popularity at an all-time low and not helping the Red Sox on or off the field, the question is when does the team finally say enough is enough?

The answer is right now.

Simply put, the Red Sox are in a state of disarray.  The fans hate Bobby Valentine and the fans are ready to give up on Beckett as well as every one of his teammates. They need to do something drastic to change the negative momentum. 

Trading the biggest problem child will hopefully be the first step in solving this mess.

Beckett was once a great pitcher for the Red Sox.  But with a new generation starting in Boston, it's time to find a team that will take him, before it gets so bad that he is altogether untradeable.

Despite his struggles, there will be a team willing to take him. 

A few teams that come to mind?  NL East teams such as the Washington Nationals and maybe a return to the Miami Marlins.  Perhaps the L.A. Dodgers who now have money to spend can bring him as a piece to make them legitimate World Series contenders.

Ultimately, while the Red Sox probably would not get equal value in return, the struggles of Beckett and the Red Sox as a whole should make this trade as soon as possible. 

It may not save this season, but it may help them in the long term and their hopeful return to World Series contention.