Yanks waiting for Lackey to sign before adding more arms, Lackey could be headed to Boston
Via Mark Feinsand of the Daily News, we learn that the Yankees are still interested in both Ben Sheets — Newsday’s Ken Davidoff thinks that the Yankees might be wary of Sheets’ clubhouse persona due to his tendency to miss games, however, that report doesn’t make much sense to me since he would only be signed for a year or two — and Justin Duchscherer.
Towards the end of his article, Feinsand offers a fairly interesting comment regarding the Yankees’ method for adding arms. “According to a source,” he notes, “the Yankees will likely wait to see what John Lackey signs for before making any moves.” This is probably for the best as Lackey, the top free agent starter available this winter, will likely receive a below market deal, at least in terms of annual salary, which could then bring down the prices for Sheets and others. Feinsand’s tidbit also seems to indicate that the Yankees won’t pursue Lackey unless his market bottoms out (very unlikely).
According to Ed Price, the Red Sox appear to be close to signing Lackey (he was a fallback option in the event that Jason Bay signs with another team), so maybe the Yankees won’t have to wait much longer for the fiery Texan to set the market.
UPDATE (1:13 pm) – Ah, just as I post this, via Ken Rosenthal, it appears as though John Lackey is Boston bound.
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.
If the Red Sox do, indeed, sign Lackey then they would have the best rotation in baseball. The signing would, however, remove Boston from the Holliday sweepstakes, which is a good thing for the Yankees, and could, in turn, put the team directly within the Mike Cameron market (a bad thing for the Yankees).
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