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Ed Price tweets that John Lackey is taking a physical with the Sox, though unconfirmed.  Physicals typically happen after deals are done, so take that for what it is worth.

We're staying skeptical for the moment, but a Lackey signing would be very interesting on a number of levels, and something of a surprise to this blogger.

EDIT: Looks more solid, deal reportedly agreed upon.

49 comments… add one

  • “a Lackey signing would be very interesting on a number of levels”
    Indeed. It would seem to make Clay more likely a trade chip for a big deal. And it also probably influences next year’s negotiations with Beckett. To name just two levels.

    Nick-YF December 14, 2009, 12:48 pm
  • I was hoping the Sox would sign Lackey, so this excites the hell out of me. 60% of a rotation from Texas is going to output a lot of ass-kicking, if you ask me.

    Atheose - SF December 14, 2009, 12:48 pm
  • Another level: it essentially takes the Red Sox out of the Halladay hunt (if they were in it at all), and all but guarantees he goes to the Angels.

    Atheose - SF December 14, 2009, 12:53 pm
  • “Another level: it essentially takes the Red Sox out of the Halladay hunt (if they were in it at all), and all but guarantees he goes to the Angels”
    unless he goes to the Yanks:)
    A rotation of Beckett, Lester, Lackey, Dice-K,Clay and Wake is pretty insane.

    Nick-YF December 14, 2009, 12:54 pm
  • Bite your tongue, Nick!

    Atheose - SF December 14, 2009, 1:00 pm
  • Or, it doesn nothing but allow the Red Sox to trade for Halladay and resign him. I mean, we have all taken Theo on his word so far, but who are we to say that’s the case?
    On a personal level, Lackey is fine, but I want no part of the Red Sox paying both Lackey and Halladay in one offseason. That is rediculous on every level.
    I think if they were to get Lackey, they move Clay [+] for a serious hitter, and call it an offseason, and I’m fine with that.

    Brad December 14, 2009, 1:05 pm
  • Ken Rosenthal confirms it:
    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/10523180/Source:-Lackey-has-BoSox-physical;-deal-close?
    Free-agent right-hander John Lackey underwent a physical Monday with the Red Sox, an indication that he is close to an agreement with the team, according to a major-league source.
    The deal is expected to be similar to the five-year, $82.5 million contract that the Yankees awarded free-agent right-hander A.J. Burnett last winter.
    The Red Sox generally do not like to award five-year contracts, which is one of the sticking points in their negotiations with free-agent left fielder Jason Bay. It is not known whether they would guarantee Lackey five years, or award him a three- or four-year deal with options.

    Atheose - SF December 14, 2009, 1:06 pm
  • I’m not mad if that’s the case. I think that contract is reasonable, but I would hope the Sox do not go more than that. I’ll be pissed if it turns out they’re paying north of 100M.

    Brad December 14, 2009, 1:11 pm
  • Really Brad? We’re talking about a deal that will likely be slightly north of AJ Burnett’s deal. Is an extra $10 million or so that big a deal as to completely reverse your judgment of a deal?
    Frankly, I’m not all that concerned with the Red Sox inking Lackey. He’s been injured the past two seasons, and has declined from his peak years. I didn’t want the Yankees to go anywhere near him at that price, if that is indeed the price.

    AndrewYF December 14, 2009, 1:23 pm
  • Really Brad? We’re talking about a deal that will likely be slightly north of AJ Burnett’s deal. Is an extra $10 million or so that big a deal as to completely reverse your judgment of a deal?
    Frankly, I’m not all that concerned with the Red Sox inking Lackey. He’s been injured the past two seasons, and has declined from his peak years. I didn’t want the Yankees to go anywhere near him at that price, if that is indeed the price.

    1. Where do you see that it will be north of the Burnett deal?
    2. Even if it is, it would be more like $20 million more than Burnett’s deal, not 10 mil.
    3. Lackey isn’t worth that money, but Burnett (a lesser pitcher with a greater injury history) is? Since leaving Florida Burnett has an ERA+ of 110, averaging 182 innings per year. Over that same stretch Lackey has an ERA+ of 129, averaging 195 innings.

    Atheose - SF December 14, 2009, 1:30 pm
  • You beat me to that, Ath.
    So, you want nothing to do with Lackey, but AJ Burnette’s history was worth looking past?
    I mean, I get what you’re saying, and I’m not at all convinced that Lackey is the end all, but lets be serious – this make the Red Sox rotation better, and gives them a better chance to win every five days when he takes the bump.
    Also, I thought AJ was grossly overpaid as well, but I saw this as New York setting the market, and if they saw it as worth it, that was their opinion. But, lets not pretend that Lackey being on the Red Sox is a bad move at all. Well, it is – but only if he is inded making that kind of money (+100M).

    Brad December 14, 2009, 1:36 pm
  • Where did I say I liked the Yankees signing AJ Burnett at the time of the signing?
    I’m not saying it’s a bad move, I just don’t think Lackey is going to be that great, and I would think that no matter which AL team he went to.

    AndrewYF December 14, 2009, 1:41 pm
  • I’m not saying it’s a bad move, I just don’t think Lackey is going to be that great, and I would think that no matter which AL team he went to.
    I agree. But, we don’t need him to be great. We need him to continue to do what he’s been doing, which is pitch effectively and win games, which is why I said I’d be upset if this deal was bigger than AJ’s deal, which was also, rediculous.

    Brad December 14, 2009, 1:45 pm
  • Rosenthal is reporting that the Red Sox and Beckett are trying to reach an agreement on an extension as well today.
    This tells me that the Lackey deal is probably coming, and they don’t want Beckett to feel like they’re moving away from him, which is smart on their part. Plus, it would essentially lock up 4/5 of the rotation for the next few years, which I would be happy about – if in fact any of this has merit, which I have doubt.

    Brad December 14, 2009, 2:34 pm
  • I wonder if Beckett is demanding something like 6 years, $18 million per. He really shouldn’t demand much less, given that he’s a better pitcher than either of Burnett or Lackey, he already gave the Red Sox a sweetheart deal before, and this would be his last big payday.

    AndrewYF December 14, 2009, 2:44 pm
  • I do enjoy these out-of-nowhere type deals. I’m surprised, as I would have thought Lackey would be a. too expensive and b. not really all that great a match for the Sox. But since they’re basically asking him to be a No. 3, and if he’s getting AJ Burnett money, then it’s hard to argue with that.
    This would certainly make the Angels the team most likely to land Halladay because they would basically be in a must-have situation if they intend to compete in 2010 or immediately thereafter.

    Paul SF December 14, 2009, 2:51 pm
  • HOLY COW I AM BACK! Sorry for the caps, I am just so excited. Been trying to sign in for over a month to no avail. Figures the Yankees win the WS and I can’t enjoy it here at YFSF.
    Anyway, on topic…I really don’t have any feelings on Lackey. While he is a very good pitcher, better and more consistent than AJ, I’m just not fearful of him. It’s a very solid signing, just not one that strikes fear, like if the Sox somehow traded for Doc.
    So good to be back!

    John - YF December 14, 2009, 2:56 pm
  • I’ll be pissed if it turns out they’re paying north of 100M.
    I don’t know why there is an arbitrary salary number attached. I think the duration of the deal is far more important than the amount of the deal.
    This is also Josh Beckett insurance, the way I see it. If the Sox determine they don’t want to pay Beckett next year, they still have a heck of a 1-2-3, in Lester/Lackey/Dice-K, to say nothing of Clay Buchholz if he sticks around and develops.

    SF December 14, 2009, 3:07 pm
  • heyman is reporting aprox 5/$85 mil
    A very good signing for a mid-market team like the sox ;)
    Also on the Halladay front, the phils are apparently very close there…

    sam-YF December 14, 2009, 3:10 pm
  • Supposedly the Phils would be trading away Cliff Lee in the Halladay deal. This makes zero sense to me.
    Regarding the team I actually care about: I think Lackey would get 4 years with an option. The Sox would then offer Beckett 5 years with a little extra money per.

    Atheose - SF December 14, 2009, 3:15 pm
  • Also, Matsui looks like he’ll be the DH for the Angels.

    Atheose - SF December 14, 2009, 3:17 pm
  • Looking like a rough offseason for the Angels…

    SF December 14, 2009, 3:17 pm
  • Lee turned down the Philly extension, so if they can work something out with Halladay, it makes sense for them to move Lee for the prospects needed to get Halladay, and in turn lose nothing more than the few extra million you were going to give Cliff Lee anyhow. This is a brilliant move for Philly.

    Brad December 14, 2009, 3:21 pm
  • According to Cot’s, the Sox’ rotation, assuming a Lackey signing at approximately $16M per year, would be:
    Josh Beckett: $10.5M
    Jon Lester: $3.75M
    John Lackey: $16M
    Daisuke Matsuzaka: $8M
    Clay Buchholz: $0.4M
    Total: $38.65M
    That’s a pretty stunning rotation for that money, considering guys like CC Sabathia ($23M in ’10) and Johan Santana ($21M in ’10) make at or around 60% of that by themselves. That’s not meant antagonistically, either, just an observation.

    SF December 14, 2009, 3:23 pm
  • And I agree with you, SF. The number of years is much more important.
    I also agree with you, Andrew – Beckett should demand whatever he adequately feels he is worth, which I would assume to be right in the same neighborhood as Lackey and Burnett. Yes, he’s better than both of them, and on any given day is better than most in baseball, but it’s all the other days that will keep his figure in control.

    Brad December 14, 2009, 3:23 pm
  • “Josh Beckett: $10.5M”
    Thats highway robbery…not sure how the sox got him to agree to that.

    sam-YF December 14, 2009, 3:26 pm
  • $10.5 is his 2009 salary. He gets $12 million in 2010. Still a good value, relatively speaking.
    Also, Lester is a steal for now…he increases his salary 2 mill next year, 2 mill the year after, 4 million and then 2 million, ending up at $13 mill in 2014, which will still probably be a value.

    John - YF December 14, 2009, 3:33 pm
  • Lee turned down the Philly extension
    Ahhh, I didn’t know that.
    Regarding Beckett: he was extended in the middle of his crappy season; on July 19 (the day of the extension) he had a 5.12 ERA. Good timing on Theo’s part to lock him in while his price was low, though at the time it looked like a questionable move.

    Atheose - SF December 14, 2009, 3:35 pm
  • Sorry, it’s actually $12.1 million in 2010. He finished 2nd in the 2007 Cy Young Vote and that bumped it up a little.

    John - YF December 14, 2009, 3:39 pm
  • Yep, you are right John, I accidentally grabbed the ’09 number for Beckett. Still, my point stands, that $1.6M difference isn’t significant.

    SF December 14, 2009, 3:47 pm
  • Considering that AJ will make $4 mill more this year, I’d say so! I only said relatively speaking because bargain and value are dependent on the people paying the salary. But Yes, I agree.

    John - YF December 14, 2009, 3:50 pm
  • The Dice-K # is a little more than that too if you factor in the bid, although this opens up the whole can of worms that was the Dice-K debate from a few years ago. In any case, the Sox have the best rotation in the majors and at a great value. I wonder what the roles of Clay/Wake will be.

    walein December 14, 2009, 3:54 pm
  • Oops! This is Nick. I’m on my brother’s computer. Sorry about that! I’ll sign out…or write inflammatory stuff and pin it on walein.

    walein December 14, 2009, 3:56 pm
  • Don’t forget the Sox still have Tim Wakefield… a guy who actually had a better record than Lackey in 2009.
    (I can’t figure how Lackey was only 11-8 with that ERA on the Angels.)

    Hudson December 14, 2009, 4:58 pm
  • Lots of big moves. The Sox and Yankees can be happy that they won’t face Halladay during the season barring interleague.
    That’s something!

    walein December 14, 2009, 5:43 pm
  • Jesus, the Angels are going to be weak next year. No more Lackey or Figgins, and it doesn’t look like they’re replacing them with anyone.

    AndrewYF December 14, 2009, 5:58 pm
  • I think it’s safe to say the Mariners are the clear favorites in the West now.

    Atheose - SF December 14, 2009, 6:17 pm
  • Also, the deal is reportedly worth LESS than the five-year, 82.5 mil deal that Burnett got.
    A better pitcher for less money? I’m cool with that.

    Atheose - SF December 14, 2009, 6:23 pm
  • Heyman reported that it’s worth $85 total, where are you hearing this from Ath?

    AndrewYF December 14, 2009, 6:34 pm
  • Cameron now reportedly in talks with Boston as well.
    Shopping spree!

    AndrewYF December 14, 2009, 6:45 pm
  • One of the MLBTR links said it was 80m base, with 5m worth of incentives based on innings total. Can’t find it now though…
    Also, it looks like Mike Cameron might be coming to Boston as well. Everything is falling in to place suddenly.

    Atheose - SF December 14, 2009, 6:46 pm
  • I’m just glad Boston saved their money for this year’s crappy free agent class, instead of splurging last offseason.

    AndrewYF December 14, 2009, 6:48 pm
  • Yeah, it sure would have sucked to spend this money on a lesser pitcher in Burnett.

    Atheose - SF December 14, 2009, 6:50 pm
  • Fun connection: John Lackey is from Abilene, Texas, where I went to college and where I now work.

    Paul SF December 14, 2009, 7:03 pm
  • “Yeah, it sure would have sucked to spend this money on a lesser pitcher in Burnett.”
    Oh geez it starts already…the ink isnt even on the paper yet!
    I will say this, I dont think that Cameron alone will solve the sox needs for offense. Interesting to see how this plays out….

    sam-YF December 14, 2009, 7:17 pm
  • Oh geez it starts already…the ink isnt even on the paper yet!
    Hey, he started it!

    Atheose - SF December 14, 2009, 7:38 pm
  • If Cameron heads to the Sox, do the Yankees start licking their Holliday chops? Price just went down, theoretically, for a Boras client.

    SF December 14, 2009, 8:06 pm
  • If they signed Holliday they would probably have to trade Melky rather than make him a 4th outfielder. I wonder how Cashman would feel about it.

    Atheose - SF December 14, 2009, 8:25 pm
  • The Cameron deal is official. Two years, 15.5m.

    Atheose - SF December 14, 2009, 9:03 pm

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