Heading into the 2014 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers knew what to expect from their top three starting pitchers. They signed Dan Haren in the off-season, along with Paul Maholm, and also had Josh Beckett as an option to round out the rotation, though his was recovering from season-ending surgery.
Beckett dealt with a hip injury that forced him to the disabled list in July and eventually cut his season short. Following the Dodgers’ Game 4 loss in the NLDS that eliminated from the postseason, the right-hander announced his plans to retire, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett, who threw a no-hitter in May but was on the disabled list for most of the last three months of the season, announced his retirement after the team was eliminated from the National League Division Series on Tuesday night.
The decision doesn’t come as much of a surprise as Beckett intimated in September he wasn’t sure whether he’d be willing to go through with the required surgery to repair the torn labrum in his hip and subsequent rehab. The 14-year veteran stated as much as part of his announcement to retire:
I just don’t see me going through that rehab and coming back to pitch at this point in my life.”
Beckett pitched well in Spring Training and earned the spot as the fifth starter, but began the year on the disabled list. His 2014 debut came April 9 and he started four games before earning a decision — a loss — in his fifth start of the season on May 2.
Beckett bounced back from the loss two starts later with a win, the first of three in a row that included a no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies. Beckett’s strong outings for the Dodgers had him in early consideration for NL Comeback Player of the Year.
The Dodgers acquired Beckett in 2012 as part of the blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox that netted also them Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto and over $250 million in salary. Beckett finished his Dodger career with an 8-14 record and 3.39 ERA in 35 starts.
Beckett was in the final year of his contract that paid him $15.75 million this season. With Beckett not returning in 2015, it again leaves the Dodgers with some question marks at the backend of the rotation.
Dan Haren has a $10 million option that vested, which one would assume he’ll exercise, though Haren has been non-committal.