Beckett agrees to $2.4 million contract

MIAMI -- Florida Marlins right-hander Josh Beckett agreed to
a $2.4 million, one-year contract Tuesday, leaving the team with no players in arbitration.

The deal represented a 59 percent raise for Beckett despite a
disappointing 2004 season.

Florida officials met again with the agent for free-agent
slugger Carlos Delgado, who is being courted by four teams.

"The meeting was very productive," agent David Sloane said in
an e-mail. "We will be talking with the Marlins again very soon in
an effort to further clarify our areas of mutual concern."

Sloane said he spoke briefly with Baltimore Orioles executive vice president Jim Beattie. Texas Rangers and the New York Mets are also pursuing Delgado.

"We will continue to talk to all four teams," Sloane said.

The Marlins, who hosted Delgado for a 5½-hour visit Saturday, declined to comment.

Beckett went 9-9 in 2004 with a 3.79 ERA and three stints on the
disabled list. He had his contract renewed by the Marlins at
$1,509,375 last year after he was the MVP of the 2003 World Series.