Source: Red Sox won't deal Beckett

Updated: July 31, 2012, 10:39 AM ET
By Gordon Edes | ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox will not trade Josh Beckett before Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline, a team source said late Monday night. And while the club fielded numerous inquiries about the availability of outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, the MVP runner-up who is eligible for free agency after the 2013 season, the club has no plans at this time to trade him.

In addition, the Red Sox have abandoned any plans to trade outfielder Ryan Sweeney after he injured the pinkie finger on his throwing hand after punching a dugout door in frustration after grounding out Monday night.

Sweeney is expected to go on the disabled list, a team source said, with the team having to add another outfielder to its roster in time for Tuesday's game against the Detroit Tigers.

A major-league source said the Red Sox were trying to trade Sweeney to the Cincinnati Reds, who are in the market for a left-handed hitting outfielder.

"I feel like I let my team down if it's bad," Sweeney said after Boston's 7-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers. "I feel terrible right now. Obviously when you hit something you just have so much adrenaline going you don't know what happened so afterward it just hurts a little bit.

"I've never broken my hand before so I don't know what that feels like. I know it hurts a little right now though."

Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino, general manager Ben Cherington, his top aides and the team's doctors all met in manager Bobby Valentine's office following Monday night's game. Reporters were ushered out of the clubhouse before the meeting, which lasted at least a half hour, ended. At this point, the team source said, the Red Sox are not expected to make a major deal before the trade deadline.

The Red Sox had engaged in an effort to see if they matched up with another team for Beckett, with the Texas Rangers emerging as the most likely partner. But Texas' interest may have been lukewarm at best, especially with Beckett owed more than $36 million on the remainder of his contract -- $15.75 million in both 2013 and 2014 and more than $5 million for the final two months of this season.

Beckett is expected to make his scheduled start Tuesday against the Tigers and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander. Beckett declined to address his situation before Monday's game. "I've got nothing for you," he said.

Beckett is 5-9 with a 4.57 ERA in 17 starts. His strikeout ratio of 6.81 per nine innings is the lowest of the career, though is FIP (fielding independent percentage) is 3.52, ranking 28th among all pitchers with 100 or more innings this season. That's below his career FIP of 3.67.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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