Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Lackey Signs One-Year Deal for $3.76 Million

The Angels signed starting pitcher John Lackey to a one-year deal Monday worth a reported $3.76 million according to CNN/SI. It was a tale of two seasons for Lackey who, sadly enough, led Angel starters with a 3.44 ERA last season. But it was Lackey's 8-1 finish to year with a sparkling 2.57 ERA in 15 starts after the All-Star Break that gives Angel management hope that he may finally develop into a full-season quality starter this year. Lackey was arbitration eligible so GM Bill Stoneman avoids that potential pitfall with the one-year deal.

The question remains, why have the Halos not offered Lackey a multi-year deal? There could be several reasons but likely they are not offering the kind of money Big John wants until he gives them a full season of quality pitching. Hopefully the Angels get a strong start from Lackey this season and hammer out a 3 or 4 year extension before the season ends. If '8-1' Lackey pitches he is firmly entrenched as the #3 starter behind Bartolo Colon and Kelvim Escobar. If 'Sloppy John' is pitching he looks more like a guy competing with Hector Carrasco for the #5 spot. Lackey has the talent, he just needs to add season-long consistency to elevate his game and bring him the contract that deserves.

The CNN/SI piece also points out the Angels signed Jose Molina to a $2.1 million two-year deal to serve as Jeff Mathis' backup (assuming the promising rookie claims and keeps the starting job this spring). So apparently Jose is not holding any grudges against the Angels for not signing big brother Bengie who is still floating in free-agent limbo. In a CNN/SI 'Truth & Rumors' article they quote a New York News piece that points out that after spurning the Mets' 3-year $21 million offer, the former Halo backstop will now likely sign a one-year deal with the Blue Jays for considerably less (plus he gets to pay Canadian taxes). The New York paper goes on to say:
But now that Molina can probably be signed on the cheap, maybe the Yankees should consider signing him and releasing Jorge Posada.
Which begs the question, since when are the Yankees suddenly concerned with signing bargains? If that were to happen though the next logical thing would be for the Angels to sign Posada in an Orlando-Cabreraesque reshuffle of AL catchers. In reality though, if Mr. Mathis is good enough for the Angels to pass on Molina, they certainly would pass on Posada.

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