What signing Lackey could mean for Sox

December, 14, 2009

The Red Sox did a great job of disguising their intentions on free-agent pitcher John Lackey.

Up to this point they had been focused on Jason Bay, made a tentative deal with the Rangers to send Mike Lowell to Texas and were also looking at Adrian Beltre as a possible replacement for Lowell at third base. In the midst of all of this, Lackey snuck into town unnoticed and has reached a tentative deal with the Red Sox, a source told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.

So what would signing Lackey mean, besides giving Boston a formidable 1-2-3 punch along with Josh Beckett and Jon Lester at the top of the rotation?

For starters, it means they could explore a possible deal for Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (perhaps dangling Clay Buchholz as part of a deal?).

It also raises questions about the future of Beckett, who is going into the last year of his contract in Boston. What would signing Lackey to a big contract do to the Red Sox's attempt to re-sign Beckett if indeed it is their intention.

Lots to digest here ... I'll come back with much more later on ...

Gordon Edes

ESPN Staff Writer



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