LA Angels star pitcher John Lackey’s contract expires after this year’s $10 million option was exercised by the club. He will be seeking a contract in excess of the 5 year $82 million contract YankOne will be paying AJ Burnett. Lackey feels he is better than Burnett and the career numbers support that claim. Now 31, Lackey is the cornerstone of a solid Angels’ rotation. The club has a history of letting veteran stars leave most recently Francisco Rodriguez, Garret Anderson and Jon Garland. If that holds true, fans can bid Vlad Guerrero, Chone Figgans and Robb Quinlan adieu after the season.
The club also feels that the farm system has some pitchers who will be ready to contribute next year, most notably Nick Adenhart, who may break camp this year, Anthony Ortega and Jordan Walden.
Meanwhile, over in Beantown, word is out that the Red Sox may be preparing to make Jason Bay’s first chance at free agency a little difficult. Sources cite the club’s concern that the slowing economy may reflect on this season’s revenues and restrict what dollars would be available to keep Bay, a Class A outfielder who should be in high demand regardless. If true, this is quite the ruse.
The rabid Red Sox Nation sells out Fenway for the whole season at seat prices only the ballplayers themselves can afford. Could it be that the club might finally be reaching its threshold of spendibility in its never ending quest to keep up with the Yankees?
Josh Beckett, Brad Penny, Dice-K, Mike Lowell, and JD Drew are all recent expensive acquisitions, Add to that the cost of keeping Big Papi, Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkalis and Bay may be the odd person out.
The Angels are also supposedly using the economy as an excuse. Right. Two months ago they had $160 million on the table for Mark Teixeria and now they don’t have half that for Lackey?
Using the economy as a reason not to sign free agents is like OPEC keeping the oil supply low, it doesn’t matter because the money still comes in. Unless sponsors and advertisers start pulling back (a real possibility), the clubs will do fine.
Speaking of the economy, word is out that the top price for a single game seat at new Yankee Stadium will be over $2,000! I don’t know how many people would pony up two large for a game under normal circumstances. A prime target, the former Wall St bigwigs driving cabs and delivering pizzas are no longer interested. There’s always AIG.
“Hey honey how about a Yankees game with the kids. As a special treat, let’s sit in the primo seats. Let’s see 4 tix at $2,000. We’ll need to get money from the retirement fund to pay for it but come on it’s worth it”