Mariners Insider

Lackey to the Mariners? Probably not.

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on Nov. 17, 2009 at 9:22 am with 3 Comments »
November 18, 2009 7:07 am
John Lackey
John Lackey

Among the bolder free agent predictions, some have projected Angels ace John Lackey is headed to the Seattle Mariners this winter in what would be general manager Jack Zduriencik’s first blockbuster signing.

Don’t hold your breath.

The Mariners have already been ‘linked’ to Hideki Matsui, Jason Bay, Orlando Hudson and Jarrod Washburn as the hot stove league warms, and Lackey is the jewel of starting pitchers on the market.

What will he cost? Well, last year right-hander A.J. Burnett, then 31, took his 87-76 record to the free market and was awarded $82.5 million by the New York Yankees.

Lackey, 31, has a 102-71 career record and made $10 million last year. The Angels offered him a five-year, $72 million contract and he passed.

Are the Mariners likely to chase Lackey into the salary range he’s going to command? More important, would it matter?

No and no.

There are reasons Seattle isn’t likely to break the bank on Lackey – including the fact they’d be setting the market for their own ace, Felix Hernandez. And if their one off-season splurge went for pitching, what would happen to what was the worst offense in the league last year?

For argument sake, say the Mariners genuinely wanted Lackey. The question then is, would Lackey come to Seattle?

No, again.

Sure, Safeco Field is an enticement. But, given the choices Lackey will have, would he really stay in the American League West with the team that scored the fewest runs in the league last year?

The Lackey-to-Seattle rumor will float awhile longer, but the reality is, he’s far more likely to sign with the Yankees or Red Sox – or stay in Los Angeles – than seriously consider a move to the Northwest.

The Mariners, meanwhile, will try to improve that offense and look to lesser pitching names like Rich Harden or Ben Sheets. Mr. Lackey simply isn’t on their radar, and they certainly aren’t on his.

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. hellomouthbreathers says:

    The day after ripping someone for being pesimistic about the M’s you have a head line that ends in “yeah, right” – what a burst of optimism. Hey, read further and what do we see, a guy shooting down nearly every optimistic Mariner speculation – another burst or fresh optimism. If I were one of those dag-nabbed Internet bloggers that don’t know anything, and I referenced the Mariners beatwriter of record, I would probably write something about the M’s not needing to do anything because they suck anyway. It must be true that beatwriters and sports reporters hate their jobs.

  2. Don’t be such a Chicken Little.

    ;)

    Seriously, how do you know not going back to the Angels was about money? Or that the Ms wouldn’t have the room in payroll and trades to upgrade the offense and go for Lackey?

  3. Larry Larue says:

    cfb – The Mariners know how much they have available to spend, and signing Lackey would take about $18 million of it for next year.
    That would mean there wouldn’t be much to spend on building a better offense – certainly not an impact hitter on top of signing Lackey.
    That said, it’s hard to see Lackey joining the Mariners when other teams are further along and closer to contending.

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