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So, what else has been going on in baseball land while the most interesting trade in the last ten years for the Blue Jays was being finalized? Well, there is one piece of news that I havenít seen raised anywhere that affects the Jays. John Lackey signed a 5 year, $82.5 million deal with Boston. While that's been reported, what I haven't seen mentioned, unless Iím mistaken, is that this signing echoes AJ Burnettís in more than just the dollar value. Because Boston signed Lackey it means the compensation pick the Jays receive for Scutaro will now be Bostonís second rounder and not their first. Just like last year, Torontoís ďAĒ free agent will only net them a second round pick and a supplementary pick, as opposed to a first-rounder.

Boston also signed Mike Cameron to a 2-year, $16.5 million deal and now look to have a very strong defensive outfield, with Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury both very strong in the field. In other news from around the majors, Baltimore made a splash and signed former Braves reliever Mike Gonzalez to a 2-year, $12 million contract with an extra $4 million in incentives. Gonzalez, a southpaw, will likely close, with Jim Johnson setting him up, although that order could be flipped depending on the matchups. The Orioles also signed Garrett Atkins to a one-year deal. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

Former Oriole Rodrigo Lopez signed a minor league deal minor league deal with Arizona and was invited to spring training, joining former Jays minor leaguer TJ Beam. Meanwhile, former Expo and fan favourite Jamey Carroll chose Los Angeles over Oakland and signed a 2-year, $3.85 millon deal with the Dodgers. Last, but not least, World Series MVP Hideki Matsui signed a one-year $6 million deal with the Angels, who may have been the biggest loser in the Halladay-Lee blockbuster.

Lackey, Cameron, Gonzalez and Atkins Sign | 33 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 10:45 AM EST (#209952) #
The Lackey and Cameron signings are a  mixed blessing for the Jays.  While the Sox will be a fine club in 2010 and 2011 and the Jays will not get a first-rounder for losing Scutaro, the dollar figures attached to the Lackey contract are high enough that it is likely to be an impediment to the Sox in 2013-4 when the Jays have some hope of competing. 

The O's are doing a nice job of setting themselves up for a run in 2011.  The acquisitions of Atkins, Millwood and Gonzalez allows the club to take the heat off their fine young talent for a year. 

ayjackson - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 11:34 AM EST (#209953) #
If the Sox can get Adrian Gonzales without surrendering Buccholz, they will have had a successful offseason.
TimberLee - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 11:47 AM EST (#209955) #
I'm not going to worry much about where the Jays will finish in the AL East for the next two years. I think I have that figured out.   It may still be fun watching the games and following the development of the younger guys, but it will be a different kind of fun from the Roy era.
Geoff - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 12:23 PM EST (#209958) #
Lost in the shuffle yesterday, the Jays signed another former first-rounder into the fold, Lance Broadway.

Fun Fact: Lance was traded this past May for another new Jay, Ramon Castro.

Jevant - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 12:27 PM EST (#209959) #
No downside.  Might as well keep signing these onetime prospects.
John Northey - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 12:28 PM EST (#209960) #
Wonder if the Jays will start fast out the gate again, causing false hope again.  I guess I'd take it as false hope can be fun (I know I enjoyed April-June this year). 
April: Texas (3), Bal(3), CWS(4), LAA(3), KC(3), TB(3), Boston (3), Oakland (2)
May: Oak(2), Cleve (3), CWS(4), Bos(3), Tex (3), Min(2), Seattle (2), Ari(3), LAA(3), Bal(3), TB(2)

So in the first two months there are just 6 vs Baltimore, 5 vs Tampa, 6 vs Boston and none vs the Yankees.  17 AL East games vs 37 against 2nd division teams (OK, non-AL East teams).  Hmm.... possibilities do exist for a fast start although some are not exactly pushovers.  We just might get some false hope early although the 6 vs Boston should keep our hopes in check.
John Northey - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 12:31 PM EST (#209961) #
FYI for those wondering - Jays play the Yankees 3 times in June, 3 times in July, 6 times in August, and 6 times in September.  September sees 13 games vs NYY/Bos/TB and 6 vs Baltimore with Texas, Seattle, and Minnesota (all potential contenders) mixed in.  Ouch.  September could be very, very ugly.
owen - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 12:44 PM EST (#209962) #
If the Red Sox don't land Gonzalez, I will be left completely confused by their offseason approach this year.

That team has a weak lineup.  Papi looks finished.  Bay is leaving with no powerful replacement.  After Youkilis, they are going to be relying heavily on Drew and Martinez for power (and health)  I realize that their moves are not finished, but it sure looks like their backs are against the wall right now.

And I don't get the John Lackey signing.  I don't know why there is so much hype around this pitcher.  A better bet for 180 innings than 220 innings, he has been a good-but-not-great pitcher in the AL West his whole career, and now he's expected to at least match his earlier career numbers, but he has to do so in the AL East in a notorious hitters park?  I don't know.  That's a lot of money and a lot of years on far less than a sure thing.  Burnett at least had that undeniable ace upside where every pitching coach thinks he can turn AJ in to a Cy winner.  Personally, I think Lackey has maxed out his potential already and that the Red Sox will find a bad contract on their hands in a couple years.

Basically, I don't understand why they didn't go in harder for Roy.  If I'm Boston, and I just watched the Yankees win the World Series, I don't sign a lesser version of AJ Burnett.  I deal for a pitcher so far ahead of AJ that he was AJ's mentor.

rpriske - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 12:45 PM EST (#209963) #
Las t year our 'A' (.J. Burnet) netted us a THIRD rounder as the Yankees signed both Teixeira and C.C. to bump us down two rungs.
John Northey - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 12:53 PM EST (#209964) #
If they keep first round picks as compensation then they should look at doing it more along - if you lose an A you get a sandwich pick between rounds 1 and 2 plus a sandwich pick between picks #15 and #16 while the team who signs player X loses either their first round pick or a compensation pick if they have one.  If they sign more than their first round plus compensation picks then they lose not just their 2nd round but also their 3rd round pick.  Another signing after that costs them their 4th/5th/6th round picks.

That way the team losing players knows what they get regardless of who signs the player, and teams don't get rewarded as much for signing an A free agent while losing another one (they'd lose that 15/16 pick thus a big chunk of the value of that player who left although they still gain a sandwich pick).

Eh, just a thought.

Schad - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 02:11 PM EST (#209968) #
I also think that teams should have to surrender any first-rounder below #15 that they possess, not merely their 'natural' 1st, if they sign more than one Type-A. Last year, the Yankees still had a pick in the first round because they received a compensation 1st for their failure to sign Gerrit Cole, despite signing three Type-A free agents; this year, the Red Sox are likely to have a 1st despite signing at least two, owing to the compensation they will receive for Jason Bay.

Now, that still would have left us with the Yankees' 2nd rounder last year, but it seemed ridiculous at the time that the Yankees were picking in the top-30 at all, whereas the Brewers were bumped down to 73rd after Teixiera signed.

MatO - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 02:24 PM EST (#209970) #
I think the elimination of FA compensation will be used to get the union to agree to a slotting system for drafted players.  Player unions tend to screw their young in order to get a better deal for their members.  If compensation is eliminated then there is no reason that draft choices shouldn't be allowed as part of  trades like every other sport.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 02:54 PM EST (#209974) #
Lackey's contract is front-loaded ($18M in the first year, $15.25M in each of the following years), which might give the Sox more flexibility down the road in terms of moving him if necessary. Compare Vernon's immoveable contract, which ends with a heavy thud from 2011-14: $23M, $21M, $21M, $21M. My guess is that AA is hoping for a good year from V-Dub around 2011-12, at which point he might be able to package him (and at least part of his remaining contract) off in the right deal.
ayjackson - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 04:32 PM EST (#209985) #

this year, the Red Sox are likely to have a 1st despite signing at least two, owing to the compensation they will receive for Jason Bay

The Sox already have Atlanta's first rounder for their bone-headed signing of Wagner.

Chuck - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 04:53 PM EST (#209989) #

My guess is that AA is hoping for a good year from V-Dub around 2011-12

One imagines that he is hoping for a good season from Wells before then!  ;)

Albatross. Albatross. What flavour is it, mate? It's bleedin' albatross flavour. Does it come with wafers? No, it doesn't come with any bleedin' wafers. Albatross. Albatross.

Schad - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 04:57 PM EST (#209990) #
The Sox already have Atlanta's first rounder for their bone-headed signing of Wagner.

Heh, I knew that they had stumbled across one somewhere, but a week of non-stop Halladay news has eliminated all recollection of everything that happened prior, apparently.
Mick Doherty - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 04:58 PM EST (#209991) #
A random Monty Python reference! And thus, my day is complete.
Chuck - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 05:13 PM EST (#209996) #
Not entirely random. It's AA, trying to unload Wells' contract.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 07:15 PM EST (#209997) #
"One imagines that he is hoping for a good season from Wells before then! ;)"

Definitely, but timing is everything. If Wells hits 280/340/480 in 2010 (to my mind, about the best case scenario for him), there still won't be any takers, because he'll be owed $86M over the following four seasons (* approximately $20M more than the Mets are currently offering the still-productive Bay for the next four years). But around 2011-12, if he continues to hits well, you *might* be able to include him in a trade by offering to pay part of his remaining salary.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 08:09 PM EST (#210000) #
God I long for the day when teams are paying US to take on their players.  Rolen, Hinske, Schoenweiss... we can't even trade Halladay without sending money out.
brent - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 08:28 PM EST (#210001) #

whiterasta, I think that is mostly JP's fault. The Jays also usually have the player with the lower salary coming back.

The important thing is that this team has gone in for a complete rebuild which it should have done back in 2002.

CaramonLS - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 09:49 PM EST (#210002) #
he has been a good-but-not-great pitcher in the AL West his whole career

Among active players his career ERA+ @ 117 is ranked 20th in MLB - min 1000 innings.  I think that makes him a little better than "good".


Geoff - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 10:26 PM EST (#210007) #
If a team is getting its compensation pushed to the third round, they should get the option to take the greedy team's first pick the following year.. That way, the Yankees can proudly forfeit their first round picks until the year 2145 before the time Roy Halladay has retired.
owen - Thursday, December 17 2009 @ 10:43 PM EST (#210011) #
Among active players his career ERA+ @ 117 is ranked 20th in MLB - min 1000 innings.  I think that makes him a little better than "good".

I dunno.  Obviously "good" v "great" is a highly subjective argument.  I see three "great" seasons (not historically great obviously, but anchor of the rotation type years), from 2005-2007.  Before that Lackey was very mediocre, and his most recent two years he has been unable to stay healthy (and has also been somewhat less effective than in the three years prior when he built his reputation as an ace).

Of course if he stays healthy he will be an asset to any rotation.  I concede "a little better than good" ... but he's got to start making 30 starts a year again.
greenfrog - Friday, December 18 2009 @ 12:17 PM EST (#210027) #
The Nick Johnson signing makes a lot of sense for the Yankees. The contract is appealing (one year, $5.5M) and keeps him away from the Red Sox. He has a career .402 OBP and offers strong 1B defence if Teixeira gets injured. The Yankees are going to have another impressive lineup next year (LF could easily be upgraded at some point during the season):

Granderson CF
Johnson DH
Jeter SS
Teixeira 1B
A-Rod 3B
Posada C
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Cabrera LF
Chuck - Friday, December 18 2009 @ 12:54 PM EST (#210032) #
I'm guessing they'd keep Jeter at leadoff and bat Granderson 6th or 7th.
ayjackson - Friday, December 18 2009 @ 01:02 PM EST (#210033) #

Seattle's apparently close to moving Brandon Morrow for a corner infielder or DH.  I wonder if it's Overbay (plus cash or players).

Though I wouldn't want Morrow (projects a little better than Purcey), I'm sure we could pawn him off on somebody who thinks there's still lustre on that star.

ramone - Friday, December 18 2009 @ 01:06 PM EST (#210035) #
I don't think it's Overbay, ESPN says the M's are close to swapping Silva for Bradley and then are looking at Branyan or LaRoche through free agency for first.
greenfrog - Friday, December 18 2009 @ 02:20 PM EST (#210042) #
"I'm guessing they'd keep Jeter at leadoff and bat Granderson 6th or 7th."

Yes, that makes sense. Jeter/Johnson/Teixeira/A-Rod should probably be their first four hitters, unless Jeter declines significantly this year.
Geoff - Friday, December 18 2009 @ 02:24 PM EST (#210043) #
Seems the Silva for Bradley deal is official.

Now to see if Junior and Ichiro and Milton will get along....

TamRa - Friday, December 18 2009 @ 06:58 PM EST (#210064) #
There was also a report of a Marrow/Gamel discussion (speculation?)

As much as I'd do Overbay for marrow in half-a-heartbeat, I'd consider us exceedingly blessed if we could pull that off.



Mike Green - Friday, December 18 2009 @ 07:23 PM EST (#210067) #
I'm afraid I'm going to have to operate. It's nothing to worry about, although it is extremely dangerous. I shall be juggling with your life, I shall be playing ducks and drakes with your very existence, I shall be running me mitts over the pith of your marrow.

For Mick.  There were will be another to-morrow.:)
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.