The much-anticipated, overly tweeted, three-way deal that would shift Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee to new teams appears to be a reality. Once the medical records are reviewed and physicals are taken, we should get the official announcement.
You may celebrate Halladay’s departure from the American League. He was a royal pain to the Orioles, going 20-4 with a 2.89 ERA in his career. Let the NL East worry about him now that he’s heading to the Phillies.
Cliff Lee, also a free agent after the 2010 season unless he signs an extension, will reportedly go to the Mariners, and the Blue Jays will receive a bunch of prospects. Two names being tossed around are Phillipe Aumont and Brandon Morrow, who might sound familiar to Orioles fans, since we kept hearing that they were potential pieces to the Erik Bedard trade.
Meanwhile, SI.com is reporting that John Lackey and the Red Sox have reached agreement on a five-year deal worth approximately $85 million, since, you know, it wasn’t enough to have Josh Beckett and Jon Lester at the front end of their rotation. Much too risky.
We’ve been focusing mostly on the money that Lackey was expected to receive as the primary reason why the Orioles had no shot at him, but those five years also were going to be a major issue. Scott Erickson ruined it for everybody.
Lackey, by the way, is 8-3 with a 3.16 ERA lifetime against the Orioles, including 4-3 with a 3.72 ERA in seven starts at Camden Yards.
It’s been a difficult winter for the Angels, who also lost Chone Figgins to the Mariners, but they’re reportedly the favorites to sign Hideki Matsui. Orioles manager Dave Trembley predicted during the Winter Meetings managers luncheon that Matsui would join them. Maybe he has inside information.
Vladimir Guerrero already was heading out the door. Matsui’s signing would give him an extra shove.
He could be that right-handed bat that the Orioles want in the middle of their order, but not for more than one season. He’s breaking down and would be clogging that DH slot.
If someone wants to give him a multi-year deal, go for it. I wouldn’t take him for more than one.
Guerrero would hit .400 if a division rival signs a pitcher who routinely bounces pitches in front of home plate.