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Sunday, April 4, 2010
Source: Beckett talks in final stages

By Gordon Edes
ESPNBoston.com

The Josh Beckett contract negotiations are in the final stages, according to a source who insisted the deal is not yet completed.

Negotiations went smoothly, the source said, even though the Red Sox did not offer Beckett a fifth year like they gave John Lackey.

"Josh did not insist on the fifth year," said the source, indicating that Beckett's total package will be "Lackey money."

Beckett is due to be paid $12 million this season, so with a four-year deal worth $70.5 million his pay would match that of Lackey, who agreed to a five-year, $82.5 million deal this winter. The source said that there is no special language in the contract that would give the Red Sox protection in the event Beckett had shoulder issues.

A deal could be announced as soon as this week.

Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.