Report: Red Sox close to signing Lackey


The Little Engine That Could is at it again, apparently close to bringing in free agent pitcher John Lackey after he took a physical for the team today. Kenny Rosenthal expects the deal to be similar to A.J. Burnett‘s five year, $82.5M deal. It’s good to see the only the 16th largest market in the game able to go out and do something to improve their team.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. AndrewYF says:

    Sweet, he will instantly go into my top 5 most hated Red Sox. I can’t wait to see who he blames when he has a bad start.

  2. See this?

    This is me not caring.

  3. Steve H says:

    Glad to see their truly is financial parity in baseball. When the Sox can dig thru couch cushions to get the #1 starter on the market, it’s a good day for baseball. Hopefully this holds off the communism that is a salary cap for another day.

  4. Commit a boatload of money to an over-30 injury-prone pitcher with declining peripherals while simultaneously ignoring their need for another bat?

    Why yes, that IS my wish for the Red Sox this offseason! How did you know?

    • Rob says:

      Beltre will sign soon and then there will be a shift in AL East power. Where is our upgrade to Pitching, pitching, pitching like jack ass Cashman said??

    • radnom says:

      Commit a boatload of money to an over-30 injury-prone pitcher with declining peripherals while simultaneously ignoring their need for another bat?

      Why yes, that IS my wish for the Red Sox this offseason! How did you know?

      Several things.

      1. Lackey is the same age as Burnett was he signed his deal.
      2. Lackey is arguably less injury prone than Burnett (although recent history has shifted a bit).
      3. Lackey has historically been a better pitcher.
      4. It seems like people slap the “declining peripherals” tag on any pitcher older than 30 who they don’t want the Yankees to sign. Lackeys peripherals have been quite consistent (and better than AJ’s) over the last three years. Look it up.

      I’m not trying to say that this was a good signing, or that I think the Yankees should have mad a play at Lackey (I don’t). But I think the fact is that most of us have come to terms with the Burnett signing and see it overall as a good one, that we maybe overpayed but he fills a useful hole and is worth it. If the terms of this deal are indeed for almost the same years/money as Burnett, then this is an equal, even slightly better contract for the Red Sox, due to the four facts I’ve listed above. It is just a little hypocritical that everyone is blowing their load over how dumb the Sox are, while at the same time being content with the remaining 4 years on Burnett’s deal.

      • OldYanksFan says:

        I resent this post It makes far too much sense!

      • Richard Deegan says:

        Only thing is (according to BB-ref splits), Lackey can pitch anywhere BUT Fenway and YS (splits indicate he gets eaten alive in those two parks). However, he does well at Rogers

        • Whitey14 says:

          Most pitchers probably have similar splits when pitching against NY and Boston due to their offenses…just guessing though

  5. Sam says:

    What does their rotation look like then?

    Lackey, Lester, Beckett, Dice-K, Bucholz/Wakefield?

    I’d like to counter with bringing in Ben Sheets but that might just be me.

  6. Rose says:

    I hope this doesn’t cause Cashman to jump the gun on Halladay…but I wouldn’t mind if it nipped him in the ass to start looking at another pitcher…

    And sign Matsui dammit!! Quit dicking around!

  7. Omg!Zombies! says:

    If he signs with the Red Sox they have a very formidable rotation but their offense is what needs help. They lost both Bay and possibly Lowell and dont seem to be doing anything to replace their bats.

    Not only that they have to pay Beckett more money than Lackey seeing that hes better and younger.

  8. A.D. says:

    the 16th largest market in the game

    Is there a source Henry was pulling that from?

  9. Rose says:

    Like I said in the other thread. I heard rumblings about the Red Sox continuing to inquire about Adrian Gonzalez and being told they need a package of Buchholz (who is now 100% expendable) and one of Casey Kelly or Westmoreland…but the Red Sox felt that 2 of those would be too much. Two of those is TOO MUCH??? For Adrian Gonzalez??

      • Rose says:

        Yeah but you have Lackey long term now. Which will trigger you to extend Becketts deal. Then you have Dice K for a while longer…and Lester isn’t going anywhere. That makes Buchholz expendable.

        There is absolutely no way the Red Sox sign 2 long term contracts this offseason. They need to fill LF and 1B/3B right now. The cheapest and smartest solution right now…is to do via trade…for somebody who is extremely affordable (A Gon).

    • Reggie C. says:

      Hoyer’s gotta give Padres fan a reason to show up. Since the RS don’t have any high ceiling offensive prospects, it doesn’t make sense for Hoyer to part with a ML top-5 1B.

      Westmoreland and Kelly have never even played a full season above Low-A. Kelly may be getting the fast track, but he started in Low-A last season. Hoyer’s got to get back more sure assets.

  10. Tampa Yankee says:

    So they plan on winning games 3-2? they have no LF, Ortiz/Varietk/Drew/Lowell (trade may not happen but if it does, no 3B) are declining, Taco Bellbury sucks, Scurtaro is not as good as last year’s stats. Plus, does that bullpen really scare anyone? It doesn’t scare me. But you never know, they could go get Beltre or Nick Johnson (slide Douchelis to 3B). I just don’t see how such a small market could spend that much though.

  11. bonestock94 says:

    I can’t wait for the Yankees to have a slugfest off that gargoyle. I never liked him, what better team to end up on. That is a formidable rotation though.

  12. steve s says:

    Instant dissension if they don’t give Beckett an extension of equal or greater length at more $$$.

  13. Will says:

    Now they can trade Bucholz for A-Gon potentially? If the padres are willing, I havent been following that too closely.

  14. Steve H says:

    He hated pitching in Fenway too. Granted he was facing a strong Sox offense, but he has certainly struggled there. .314/.371/.527

  15. Reggie C. says:

    Looks like a year removed from the Penny and Smoltz disasters, Theo Epstein is ready to make a surer bet. Lackey’s an improvement, but i’d be shocked if the RS didn’t sign Bay or Holliday.

  16. Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

    Their entire outfield is a mess. What would their outfield be if the season started today? Drew, Ellsbury, and….? Yikes. They do not get enough production out of their infield to cpmpensate for that

  17. Mike bk says:

    the counter to this move is just to sign Cameron because spending this on lackey means they wont be re-signing bay or bringing in holliday in all likelihood because beckett needs to get extended as will V-Mart. If they are going to go for the defense angle Cameron is the best of those 8 mil OF’s out there.

  18. Evil Empire says:

    A bold move for a small-to-medium franchise. Clearly they’re putting all of their eggs into one basket, they can’t afford to make mistakes with such a meager payroll. The fanbase is dedicated, sure, but also small. Not enough to truly support the team ala Baltimore.

  19. DP says:

    Let’s not get carried away here the other way. 4 or 5 years from now, I’m sure they’ll regret it, and it’s not the best deal, but it still would make the 2010 Red Sox a lot better. Personally I still think they’re gonna get Bay or Holliday and Beltre, but if they don’t then I’ll agree it’s a huge mistake on their part. NOTE: I’m not panicked or anything nor do I think in any way the Yanks need to respond. But it’s still good for them to put John Lackey on the roster.

  20. Jake H says:

    To me this means that they don’t think Beckett will be a Sox. No way does he take less money and years then Lackey who is 2 years older.

    Also if you look at Lackey his stats are going down since his huge season of 07. K per 9 going down, WHIP going up, both H and BB per 9 going up. K per BB going down too. I don’t mind that at all.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

      Josh Beckett is a sell-out. A hired gun. Unwilling to sacrifice for the good of the team. Always chasing the almighty dollar.

      /Boston media, summer 2010′d

  21. Phil McCracken says:

    Didn’t hear any Lackey rumors at all until today. Red Sox must have paid 51 million to talk to Lackey exclusively.

  22. Mike HC says:

    That is unfortunate but not unexpected. I was hoping the Yanks would be able to nab him, especially since I consider him better than AJ and we could have gotten him for the same money.

    The Red Sox are going to make their big free agent moves too. That is what makes it fun, I guess.

  23. Brian Paul says:


  24. My confidence level just dropped from a 10 to an 11.

  25. Chris says:

    Don’t forget, you’ll have to watch MLB Network now to watch Peter Gammons pathetically fawn over this latest installment of Red Sox comedy.

  26. OldYanksFan says:

    If they give Lackey $16.5m/yr, my guess is, it will cost $18m/yr to keep Beckett. Lester makes $6m in 2011, so in 2011, the Sox might have $40m tied up in their (very good) 1-2-3.

  27. Kiersten says:

    The worst thing about this signing is that we’ll have to look at the World’s Largest Chin more often.

  28. bigpinklips says:

    It’s time to quit screwing around.
    It’s time to promote Kei Igawa!

  29. Mike bk says:

    “1:03pm: ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick has a source saying an agreement is “not likely” by the end of the day.”

    probably still happens but could be like the lowell deal and drag on.

    in other news the mets offered escobar a minor league deal.

  30. Evil Empire says:

    Angels in “serious talks” with Matsui

  31. aj says:

    Damnit. I wanted them both OUT of the league. This Lackey thing boils my blood, and I wanted the Yanks to retain Matsui. But that’s business. I hope the Yanks strike back with Damon or someone else.

  32. Salty Buggah says:

    Here’s to Lackey sucking thanks to that bandbox in Boston.

  33. Rod says:

    Now we just need some teams to snap up Bay and Holliday and the Yankees can sign Cameron and possibly take a flyer on Sheets/Duchserererer

    • Bronx Cheer says:

      If this does go through for the Sox, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them turn their sights on Cameron. Cheap OF option allows them to pick up Beltre or Nick Johnson to round out their infield and maximize defense behind a solid pitching staff.

  34. Bronx Cheer says:

    Is Lackey a fly ball pitcher?

  35. Neil B. says:

    With Lackey off the market (not that I wanted the Yankees to sign him, one long-term deal with an injury risk is enough), this pretty much confirms that the Yankees are gonna look to Sheets/Duchscherer if they want extra pitching depth.

    And unless Cash manages to convince management to go a good 5-8M over budget, that’ll mean no return for Damon (if/when Boras eventually caves to a two-year deal, there should be several offers in the $10M range).

    In my opinion, then, that makes a Matsui return even more important, so I really hope the Angels don’t snag him before the Yankees realize that negotiations with Damon won’t lead anywhere.

  36. Tampa Yankee says:

    1:41pm: Yahoo’s Tim Brown has an Angels source who believes they’re still in the running for Lackey and the pitcher has not accepted a Boston offer.

  37. Rose says:

    OK, a little off topic but just as important.

    Why the hell would the Phillies trade Cliff Lee in a blockbuster 3 team deal for Halladay?? Halladay is older and more expensive. And apparently the reasoning behind not keeping Lee is because he won’t take a “discount” to stay with them.

    Now I’m no rocket scientist, but I don’t think Halladay is going to take a discount either…and I’m sure he’ll be much more expensive.

    Just doesn’t make sense to me…but I would love it if that 3rd team were the Yankees (getting Cliff Lee). What do you think it would take to get Lee?

    • Reggie C. says:

      I think this rumor is going to get its own thread w/in the next half-hr.

      Halladay is supposed to in a Philly-area hotel right now according to Rotoworld. That part of Cliff Lee getting traded makes zero sense and it makes me doubt the whole thing. Keep both guys for 1 year , offer Lee arbitration, get back 2 draft picks when Lee signs with the Yanks.

  38. Tampa Yankee says:

    2:55pm: Heyman says the Red Sox and Lackey are in agreement in a five-year, $85MM deal.

  39. Ansky says:

    hmmm so the Sox just committed big money to another free agent once again. So…how long til the Sox trade Lackey to the Dodgers and pay 75% of the money owed on his contract?

  40. Lanny says:

    Lackey certainly improves that rotation and gives them the best rotation in the league right now if all are healthy.

  41. Joe D. says:

    The Yankees are ruining competitive baseball with these endless attempts to out-and-out buy a World Championship. It makes me sick. They are destroying the greatest sport ever…don’t you Yankee fans care about that?

    Oh wait, *my* team signed Lackey for $85,000,000?

    Yay! Great signing, Theo! Excellent use of resources!

    /Sox Fan’d

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