|Report: ‘Very good chance’ Red Sox trade John Lackey as well as Jon Lester||07.30.14 at 12:48 pm ET|
However, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted Wednesday afternoon that both hurlers could be headed elsewhere prior to Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline.
Wrote Rosenthal: Source: “Very good chance” that #RedSox trade Lackey along with Lester.
Rosenthal followed up with another tweet clarifying that he did not mean the pitchers were being packaged in the same deal.
Rosenthal mentioned the Indians and Marlins as being among teams that would be interested in a pitcher like Lackey who is under team control for one more season (and for only $500,000).
|Dealing both John Lackey, Jon Lester a possibility for Red Sox||07.29.14 at 11:24 am ET|
According to industry sources, the Red Sox are considering broad-ranging possibilities between now and Thursday’s trade deadline. The expectation is that the team will sift through possibilities until sometime close to the trade deadline, but at least in theory, the team is willing to entertain virtually any scenario. Specifically, as it relates to the team’s two rotation anchors – Jon Lester and John Lackey — the Sox, according to the sources, are willing to contemplate dealing one or both pitchers.
Of course, the team also is comfortable with the idea of retaining one or both if it doesn’t get the package it wants in return. Why?
Keeping Lester theoretically would allow for additional negotiating opportunities that wouldn’t exist if he was traded. And if Lester did end up leaving as a free agent, the value of a supplemental draft pick is not inconsiderable — particularly given that the associated money could help not only supply the Sox with an additional pick, but could also influence the caliber of other selections (players with signability concerns) whom the Sox could take.
As for Lackey, the fact that he is under team control for 2015 suggests that he could be an important part of the Sox’ rotation foundation going forward, particularly if Lester left.
So, the Sox’ negotiating position appears extremely fluid, with a number of scenarios to consider between now and Thursday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline.
Also worth noting: At a time when the Sox recognize that the rest of the American League East has pulled away from them, the team is open to the idea of dealing Lester within the division. While there’s a prevailing never-say-never approach by the team to any trade scenarios, the Sox appear less inclined to consider dealing Lackey within the division given that he is under team control beyond this year.
The Jon Lester rumors seemed self-explanatory: Command a trade ransom for an elite pitcher who will be a free agent for the next two months, and for whom another dozen starts have virtually no value to a spiraling Red Sox team but plenty of worth to a contending team trying to find the discover the difference between contention and the possibility of winning the World Series. Given where the Red Sox are in the standings, they *have* to listen to offers to Lester and any other free agent.
But the suggestion that the Red Sox are listening on veteran right-hander John Lackey represented a more surprising dimension in the rumor mill. After all, as Monday’s brutal outing by Clay Buchholz underscored, the Red Sox have exactly one pitcher under team control beyond this season who offers some measure of reliability.
Here’s what Lackey has done the last two years:
2013: 189 1/3 IP, 3.52 ERA, 7.7 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 1.2 HR/9
2014: 137 1/3 IP (on pace for 210 IP), 3.60 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 1.0 HR/9
That’s a reliable rotation anchor. Lackey’s not an ace, but right now, he represents a solid No. 2 guy in the rotation, and thanks to the unique vesting option at the major league minimum for next year, he is under team control for next to nothing. Read the rest of this entry »
|David Ortiz, John Lackey vexed by Red Sox decision not to challenge close play||07.27.14 at 12:17 am ET|
Still, Sox players expressed a degree of dual confusion about one play in the game. In the bottom of the fourth inning, with Yunel Escobar on second base and one out, catcher Christian Vazquez snared a breaking ball in the dirt and fired a missile to second base. His throw appeared to beat Escobar to the bag by plenty, with shortstop Stephen Drew slapping on a tag. Yet Escobar was ruled safe.
Manager John Farrell made the slow stroll to second base umpire Marcus Pattillo, and once there, he awaited word from the dugout as to whether or not to challenge the ruling on the field. Farrell elected not to do so. Read the rest of this entry »
|Larry Lucchino on D&C: ‘I do think that we will be active’ leading up to trade deadline||07.24.14 at 10:47 am ET|
Red Sox president Larry Lucchino joined Dennis & Callahan Friday to discuss John Lackey‘s future in Boston and the team’s strategy as the trade deadline nears. To listen to the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
With just one week until the July 31 trade deadline, Lucchino said that the team’s performance over the next seven games — all against AL East opponents — will play a huge factor in determining whether to buy or sell.
“I don’t think it’s a binary process, I don’t think you’re either one or the other, you may see some moves that take place and some other moves that do not take place,” Lucchino said, continuing: “We’ve never been in this position in our 13 years. We have never been in a position where we haven’t been anything but aggressive buyers because we’ve always, even in the catastrophic years of 2011-12, we were well over .500 at this stage of the season, so this is relatively new to us. … I do think that we will be active. … We’re always active.”
Lackey has one more year remaining on his contract, which will pay him the league-minimum sum of $500,000 in 2015 — a far cry from the $15.25 million the righty is earning this year. Lucchino said that the team will negotiate with Lackey after the season in an attempt to keep him with the team beyond next season.
“I think that there will be some contract negotiations with him probably at the end of the year as well and we’ll see what his frame of mind is with respect to longer-term contracts. … We will explore how we can keep John Lackey as a member of the Boston Red Sox.”
The Red Sox front office could lose a vital cog in its machine in the coming days, as assistant general manager Mike Hazen is one of the finalists for the Padres vacant general manager position. The Padres have had a history of plucking officials from the Red Sox organization, as former Boston COO Mike Dee is now the CEO of the Padres, while the last two San Diego general managers – Jed Hoyer and Josh Byrnes – were Sox executives first.
“Mike is an extremely talented, versatile, valuable member of our front office,” Lucchino said. “He is a right hand to Ben Cherington. He has a great future in baseball. He ultimately will be a general manager someday, of that I have no doubt. I just hope it’s not right now. I know that’s a little selfish of us to say, but I hope Mike stays with us. I will say that he’s in the final four in San Diego and they have been known to take some of our front office people in the past, but we want to keep Mike Hazen if it’s at all possible.”
|John Lackey on Jon Lester: ‘He’ll be just fine in 5 years’||07.23.14 at 12:04 am ET|
“Jon’s a different deal, man. He works his butt off,” Lackey said. “He’ll be just fine in five years.”
The debate surrounding the merits and pitfalls of signing a thirtysomething pitcher to a long-term deal has been in full force. Lester is setting himself up for a big payday –whether with the Red Sox or another team after the season — which would kick off with the lefty living life as a 31-year-old 0n Opening Day of the 2015 season.
Lackey knows the mindset of a pitcher heading into such territory better than most.
The Red Sox starter was also 31 when he started his five-year, $82.5 million deal, which has a sixth-year option which will surely be picked up considering it is at the major league minimum. (“I haven’t even thought that far ahead. I’m just trying to get through this one first,” said Lackey of the contractual alteration born from missing the ’12 season due to Tommy John surgery.)
“I had multiple offers on four and five. I guess there were some teams that didn’t want to do it, but there’s always somebody who wants to do it,” he said. “I definitely wanted the five years, wanted the security at that time.”
As for the hesitation some clubs (including the Red Sox) seem to have when committing to a pitcher in their 30s past four years, Lackey is an example of how free agency can sometimes alter what teams had hoped the market might be.
“That’s just an excuse for them not to give up money for an extra year,” he said regarding not going five years. “It’s their business. But there are exceptions to everything.”
|Monday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: John Lackey vs. Drew Hutchison||07.21.14 at 8:52 am ET|
After three straight subpar performances, Lackey (10-6, 3.79 ERA) finished strong in his final start before the All-Star break despite the added challenge of throwing to rookie catcher Christian Vazquez for the first time. He allowed just two runs and four hits but had a season-high five walks over six innings in the Sox’ 8-3 win over the Astros on July 11.
“There’s more on my shoulders as far as calling the game and that sort of thing,” Lackey said after the game. “I’m going to have to do some of that on my own, but as far as just catching the ball — and we all know the way he can throw the ball — [Vazquez] is a weapon back there, for sure.”
Despite being in the same division, Lackey hasn’t faced the Blue Jays since April 6, 2013. That start was his first since coming back from Tommy John surgery, which wiped out his 2012 season.
The right-hander pitched in pain for some of the start against the Blue Jays as well. Lackey left in the fifth inning that night with a biceps strain that sidelined him for another three weeks. He gave up two runs on five hits and had eight strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings but took the loss in the game.
Lackey is 5-8 with a 5.43 ERA in 20 career starts against Toronto.
Hutchison (6-8, 4.16 ERA) had a frustrating end to his first half of the season, finishing with two straight losses in which he failed to get out of the sixth inning. His loss against the Rays on July 12 was especially disappointing. Hutchison left the game with only three runs allowed but walked three batters in the sixth to surrender a run and load the bases before being pulled. Read the rest of this entry »
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