From Jon Heyman:
The world champion Yankees have top free-agent pitcher John Lackey on their free-agent shopping list, sources said. The Yankees aren’t expected to be as aggressive this winter on the free market as last offseason and they haven’t firmed up all their plans as yet, but one league source said of Lackey, “He’s definitely on their radar.”
Word is that the Yankees probably will be willing to repeat A.J. Burnett’s $82.5 million, five-year contract for Lackey. Although, one person close to Lackey — whose offer to stay with the Angels this spring was for less than $40 million over three years on top of this year’s $10 million salary — indicated the longtime Angels right-hander sees himself in a higher echelon than Burnett. Lackey was 11-8 with a 3.83 ERA for the Angels last year and has been their ace for some of his eight seasons there.
Even if postseason hero Andy Pettitte returns to the Yankees — and he told a few teammates he believes he’ll come back for one more year, though there’s no definitive word on this — the Yankees envision themselves looking at the starting-pitching market since they are uncertain whether Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes will start or work out of the bullpen next year. The Yankees used a three-man rotation in the playoffs out of necessity.
I am a huge John Lackey fan, so I would not be upset to see the Yankees bring him in. However, assuming Andy Pettitte comes back, wouldn’t that money be better spent on Matt Holliday? Personally, I think the Yankees should sign their own guys to short term deals and sit out this free agency class, but if they do decide to hand out “Burnett” money, it would be better spent on getting younger in LF/DH rather than adding another starter to a team that should be fine pitching-wise in 2010.
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