JOSH BECKETT, 34, starting pitcher.
Final 2014 stats: 6-6, 2.88 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, .226 opponent batting average, 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings; 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA on the road.
Contract status: Retired.
The good: On May 25, Beckett completed his return from a rare rib surgery to throw a fairly amazing no-hitter. He’d gone from a fire-throwing right-hander, to a savvy 34-year-old. It was some comeback.
Until his hip flared up, Beckett fashioned a 2.26 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and a .203 opponent batting average in his first 17 starts. Despite his reputation, he was good with the media and in the clubhouse.
The bad: When the hip did catch up to him, he finished with an 8.25 ERA, 2.33 WHIP and a .382 opponent batting average in his last three starts. The final start of his career came Aug. 3 at home against the Cubs.
What’s next: Lots of ranching in Boerne, Texas.
The take: The Dodgers were never really sure what to expect from Beckett. He came to the Dodgers from Boston in the Adrian Gonzalez/Carl Crawford deal, and most just looked at him as a salary dump the team had to swallow to complete the deal.
He ended up starting 35 games in parts of three seasons for the Dodgers, going 8-14 with a 3.88 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. But he gave the Dodgers 17 strong starts to start the season and head them toward a division title.
And, of course, he threw the first of the team’s two no-hitters last season. That Clayton Kershaw would throw a no-hitter came as a surprise to no one. That Beckett, using a dominating curve, would throw one at age 34 was stunning and one of the season’s great highlights -- aside from catcher A.J. Ellis spraining his ankle in the celebration.
He could have had surgery on the hip and started the long rehab process again for next season, but the years and the innings (2,051) caught up to him and he opted for retirement (though he is still expected to have the surgery at a later date).
Beckett made over $115 million during his 14-year career, so it’s not like you have to weep for him. But he seemed to have found something of a home for himself with the Dodgers, coming off a sometimes rocky relationship with the Red Sox and fans in Boston.
And it may come as a surprise to those back in Beantown, but he’ll be missed.