Boston made an orca splash yesterday morning when John Lackey was spotted at Logan Airport arriving for a physical in a move that just about no one had been talking about. All indications are that they'll sign Ol' Smiley to a rare-in-Boston 5 year deal right around 82 million, a deal almost exactly that of the one AJ Burnett received from the Yankees last year.
Part of the reason Lackey hadn't been mentioned much in these parts was due to Boston's perceived lack of offense and the troubles it caused for them down the stretch and in the playoffs. Lackey brings a similar "big game" mentality, pitch profile and somewhat balky injury history as current Sox righty Josh Beckett. Hence the Lackey move begs more questions than it answers. Namely, does this free up Boston to trade Clay Buchholz in a package for a big, nay, Adrian Gonzalez sized, bat this offseason, or does it give them more leeway to walk away from the table if Beckett's free agent negotiations spiral out of control next season?
My guess is probably both. I was nonplussed by the move at first, but a deeper look at the options it gives the team (my aversion to 5 year deals not withstanding) makes it look pretty savvy. Friend of WoW Brian MacPherson is right when he says this signing can't fully be judged until you see its fallout on the rest of the roster. He also called it over the summer.
I guess it's finally time for me to rescind this offer to Lackey. Let's be pals.
Boston wasn't done after the Lackey move and gave a 2 year deal to OF and WoWie favorite Mike Cameron. Cameron was all but handed Jason Bay's LF spot and the defensive upgrade from the move is yooge. It's a two year deal that give the Sox their best defensive OF in years and will drop 20+ homers into the order.
According to Dan Shaugnessy, Red Sox fans can finally stop their hand-wringing about a somnolent offseason. Of course, the thing to remember here, as always, is that most Sox fans that were "worried" about a lack of moves during the first week of December were mostly either talk radio goons or pure figments of Shaugnessy's brain. It's gotta be tough finding an angle in a measured front office which keeps it cards close to the vest, especially with him. So now thanks to Theo's Big Monday, CHB can call a resolution to a problem that he made up in the first place. Nice work if you can get it. I just wish someone else could.