John Lackey to the Red Sox. Roy Halladay to Philadelphia. Cliff Lee to Seattle. They are all coming down.
Lackey to the Red Sox in an $82.5-million, five-year deal pending a physical. The Red Sox have been tied to a lot of things, but this one seems to have come out of the blue. That’s a lot of money and it probably precludes them signing Matt Holliday.
The Mets were never in it for Lackey, but this deal could help them land Jason Bay. The Red Sox say they aren’t giving Bay a fifth year. Unless they are bluffing, there doesn’t seem to a chance they’ll go back to Bay. But, the Mets would have to up their offer to a fifth year.
The Mets were also never in it for Halladay, either, because they didn’t have the minor league talent to get it down.
Meanwhile, the Phillies are working a three-team deal with Toronto and Seattle which would bring Halladay to Philadelphia and send Cliff Lee to Seattle. That deal is close, pending physicals and Halladay agreeing to an extension with the Phillies.
Reportedly, the extension would be for three years through the 2013 season and be worth $60 million, plus $15.75 million for 2010, the final year of his current contract.
I always thought Halladay to the Phillies because they have the prospects and the Blue Jays didn’t want to send him within the division. The Mets could have afforded the money end of it, but not the prospects. Toronto would get Mariners pitching prospect Phillippe Aumont, and at least two players from the Phillies, one of which is expected to be catcher Travis d’Arnaud. That second player could come from a pool that includes J.A. Happ and Joe Blanton.
The Phillies would also add to their farm system by getting two prospects from the Mariners. It would have been interesting to see Lee and Halladay in the same rotation, but reports are Lee wants Sabathia Money.