December 15, 2009

Now that Lackey and Halladay are gone…

I missed a huge day on the blog yesterday. Some updates: John Lackey agreed to a deal with the Red Sox. The other top pitcher on the market, Roy Halladay, was dealt to the Phillies in a three-team, blockbuster deal.

That’s a lot for one day, but I’ll break it down from the Yankees POV.

Lackey deal:
I’m starting with Lackey because he’s the newest member of the AL East. He is by no means a Yankee killer. In 16 career starts, he is 5-7 with a 4.66 ERA. The Red Sox were probably attracted to his postseason success, 3-4, 3.12 ERA. Props to them, they landed the best free agent starting pitcher available.

The deal is reportedly around five-years and $82.5 million — exactly what we all expected. Did the Red Sox overpay? He’s 31 years old, he hasn’t pitched over 200 innings since 2007 and his combined record over the past two seasons is 23-13 with a 3.78 ERA. If you compare him to Burnett, they’re both pretty close if you factor in injury risk, age and stats.

This gives the Red Sox a 1-2-3 of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Lackey. Not only is that a lot of ‘J’s, but it’s a lot of talent. That probably edges the Yankees for the best rotation in the league.

Halladay deal:
There are still some kinks to be worked out in this, but a deal that would send Halladay the Phillies, Cliff Lee to the Mariners and a boatload of prospects to the Blue Jays has been agreed upon, reports Buster Olney.

Bottom line, the Yankees and the rest of the AL East don’t have to deal with Halladay anymore (except in a World Series rematch). Yes, the Yankees missed out, but I think the Blue Jays were asking too much from the Yanks. I don’t think they were ever in serious discussion either.

Without the details it’s tough to tell, but I think the Mariners are winners of the trade. Pairing King Felix Hernandez with Cliff Lee poses a serious threat on the Angels, while the Phillies get older with Halladay and have to re-sign him to a reported three-year, $60 million deal.

Should you be freaking out the Yankees haven’t done anything yet? As Ron Popeil used to say, “Just wait, there’s more!”

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