AP sources: Red Sox set to add Lackey, Cameron | TahoeDailyTribune.com

AP sources: Red Sox set to add Lackey, Cameron

BOSTON – The retooling Red Sox made two key moves in one day, reaching tentative agreements with pitcher John Lackey and outfielder Mike Cameron.

Lackey and Boston agreed on a five-year contract, according to a baseball official with knowledge of the negotiations. The deal is worth $16 million to $17.5 million a season, the official said Monday on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not yet final.

The Red Sox also reached a tentative agreement on a two-year contract with Cameron for $7 million to $8 million annually, according to a person familiar with those negotiations. That deal is subject to a physical, the person said on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not yet final.

The moves seem to indicate Boston has abandoned an attempt to re-sign slugging outfielder Jason Bay.

Lackey, the top pitcher on the free-agent market after spending eight seasons with the Angels, was in Boston for a physical Monday needed to complete the deal, the baseball official said.

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino and co-owner Tom Werner declined comment in e-mails to The Associated Press. Team owner John Henry and general manager Theo Epstein did not respond to e-mails.

The 31-year-old Lackey would give the Red Sox one of the best rotations in baseball, rivaling that of the New York Yankees, who added CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett before last season and then won the World Series. Sabathia signed for $161 million over seven years, while Burnett got an $82.5 million, five-year deal.

Lackey would join a rotation headlined by Josh Beckett and Jon Lester. Boston also has starters Daisuke Matsuzaka, Clay Buchholz and Tim Wakefield on the roster.

Lackey has a 102-71 regular-season record with a 3.81 ERA in eight seasons, all with the Angels. At Fenway Park, he is 2-5 with a 5.75 ERA in nine starts.

The right-hander is coming off a strong postseason in which he struck out 14 batters in 19 2-3 innings for Los Angeles while allowing five earned runs and 19 hits.

In the opener of the AL division series against Boston in Anaheim, Calif., Lackey allowed four hits with four strikeouts and a walk in 7 1-3 innings of a 5-0 win. Lester gave up three runs and four hits in six innings in that game. The Angels swept the series 3-0.

As a rookie in 2002, Lackey won Game 7 of the World Series against San Francisco.

Cameron, who turns 37 next month, batted .250 with 24 homers and 70 RBIs last season for Milwaukee. A three-time Gold Glove winner in center field, he could switch to left with Boston as a replacement for Bay. The Red Sox have speedy Jacoby Ellsbury in center.

The addition of Lackey might make the 25-year-old Buchholz more expendable in a deal for offense. The Red Sox reportedly have shown interest in first basemen Adrian Gonzalez of San Diego and Miguel Cabrera of Detroit, and could switch Kevin Youkilis to third base. Boston also could pursue free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre, who spent the past five seasons with Seattle.

A trade of Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell to the Texas Rangers for minor league catcher Max Ramirez reportedly is being held up by concerns about the condition of Lowell’s right thumb.

Beckett was 17-6 with a 3.86 ERA last season, while Lester went 15-8 with a 3.41 ERA. Buchholz had a 7-4 record and a 4.21 ERA after being called up at midseason from Triple-A Pawtucket.

The 43-year-old Wakefield expects to be ready for spring training after having back surgery on Oct. 21. The knuckleballer was picked for the All-Star game for the first time last season and finished 11-5 with a 4.58 ERA.

The Red Sox are hoping Matsuzaka can have a solid full season. He took part in the World Baseball Classic this year, then reported to the Red Sox out of shape. He was 1-5 when he was sidelined with a minor right shoulder strain and began rehab. In his last four starts of the season, he was 3-1 with a 2.22 ERA, lowering his season mark from 8.23 to 5.76.

Matsui, Angels reach preliminary deal

ANAHEIM – Hideki Matsui is headed west.

The World Series MVP and the Los Angeles Angels have reached a preliminary agreement on a one-year contract worth about $6.5 million, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because the contract was not yet final.

“I can confirm that we are in serious discussions with the Angels,” Matsui’s agent, Arn Tellem, wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Tellem declined further comment.

Matsui surpassed 100 RBIs four times in seven seasons with the Yankees after coming over from Japan, where he was an enormous star. He just completed a $52 million, four-year contract with New York.

Matsui hit .274 with 28 homers and 90 RBIs last season, then was selected World Series MVP despite starting only three of the six games against Philadelphia. He went 8 for 13 (.615) with three homers and eight RBIs, tying a Series record by driving in six runs in Game 6.

Slowed by surgically repaired knees, the 35-year-old Matsui would replace Vladimir Guerrero as Los Angeles’ primary designated hitter. Guerrero, also hobbled by injuries, will turn 35 in February. Both sluggers are free agents.

Matsui and the Yankees beat Los Angeles in the AL championship series last season. The Angels have won three straight AL West titles and five of the past six, but haven’t reached the World Series since winning the 2002 title.

Matsui was among three key free agents on the Yankees. Left-hander Andy Pettitte agreed last week to an $11.75 million, one-year contract. Talks have stalled with left fielder Johnny Damon, whose agent wants more guaranteed years than the team is willing to offer.

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