Sox 'making progress' on Beckett deal

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A Red Sox source with direct knowledge of talks between the club and pitcher Josh Beckett said Wednesday night that "we are making progress" but said he wasn't sure when the deal would be closed.

The official's comments added further support to the report by ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney that the Sox had made a four-year offer to Beckett in the $65 million to $70 million range.

A source close to negotiations had told ESPNBoston.com last weekend that the Sox would not go beyond a four-year deal, even though they had given John Lackey a five-year, $82.5 million contract last winter.

Beckett is to be paid $12 million this year, the option year to the guaranteed three-year, $30 million extension he signed in 2006. (There was a $2 million buyout if the Sox did not exercise the '10 option.)