Friday, October 7, 2011


John Lackey, bless his soul, is a pariah in New England.

For the Padres, this shouts opportunity.

Play nice and offer to help the Red Sox rid themselves of the 33-year-old stinkbomb of a pitcher.

Lest you think this blog ingested silly pills, a Padres official tells me the idea of exploring a Lackey deal "is not farfetched at all."

For starters, every Red Sox fan I know would celebrate if Lackey is sent to the Better Coast, more so if he's deposited near Alcatraz or off the coast of Tijuana. The righty not only had a 6.41 ERA last season, he is still owed $45.75 million over the next three years, and if the Boston press is to be believed, Lackey was one of the clubhouse skunks who fouled the team's chemistry.

Clearly Lackey must leave Boston, and clearly the best place for him to revive his career is San Diego.

Petco National Park would pump him full of confidence, as would the absence of Yankees, Rays and Blue Jays hitters.

Bud Black and Lackey are chums, Pepe Negro having nurtured him in Anaheim when Lackey was pitching the Angels to a World Series title and inducing the gullible Sox seven years later to sign him to a five-year deal for $82.5 million.

But this trade isn't really about Lackey and the 4.40 ERA and 170 innings he'd give the Padres.

It's about the wealthy, farm-rich Sox sweetening the pot so that the deal benefits San Diego. Here's how:

One, pay most of Lackey's $15.25 million salary each of the next three years, plus the filthy $500,000 assignment bonus that a trade would trigger.

Two, take on second baseman Orlando Hudson and his ridiculous $7.5 million guarantee OK'd by his former agent, Jeff Moorad. (So what if he'd be blocked by Pedroia? Let the Sox sort it out.)

Three, send the Padres a young big leaguer or a good prospect, or two. The amount of Lackey's salary assumed by the Padres would depend on the quality of the young talent.

And if the Smartest Man in Baseball isn't willing to satisfy them, the Padres can walk. Let Lucchino and others within The Matrix contemplate the sights and sounds of Red Sox fans, after a winter of marinating in vinegar, booing Lackey even before he reprises his home ERA of 6.65 and slug rate allowed of .487. Veteran pitchers who want to pitch for the Padres tend to be in ample supply, another reason the Padres can move on if the Sox don't meet their price.


  1. I have a feeling they would sooner release him, or perhaps make his life so miserable that Lackey just wants to call it quits, then give up that much to get rid of him. I mean Lackey is going through a really rough time not only on the field, but also off the field, so maybe they would even be able to work out a buyout with him. I am wondering who you think the Sox would even consider giving up as this young talent? I mean that is a lot to ask, to pay his contract and then give you talent, especially for a team that can absorb bad contract, even when it is over 15 million.

  2. So the Red Sox save no money, give you prospects, and get a useless 2b? Wow, sign me up. Can we get kneed in the groan and dumped in a pile of manure at the same time? Seriously, if this would be an opportunity for you to get a low-cost "4.40 ERA and 170 innings," you either have to pay a lot of his salary or get nothing in addition.

  3. The Red Sox are not really "farm rich" anymore...the most appealing part of the deal is that Boston would take Hudson out of San Diego.

  4. Red Sox fan here. I'll tell you I need some of whatever you are smoking with that proposal, Tom. As Jim said, why not just release Lackey and save the prospects and headaches of a useless, has-been second baseman? We're on the hook for the salary regardless.

    I agree he'd perform much better in the grand canyon named Petco and the forgotten, no-talent division called the NL West. If Hoyer wants to make a deal and thinks Lackey has value, he'd make it happen. I'd say what's actually fair is Lackey and Sox eat $10M/year for a B+/A- prospect from San Diego.

  5. How about Heath Bell resigning with SD on the cheap, then being traded to BOS for Lackey & his whole salary, plus SD pays out some cash so John Henry can buy some Conrad Murray OG?