Angels coming up empty in bids for Lackey, Halladay
It appears the Angels will be shut out in their bid to sign free-agent right-hander John Lackey and to trade for Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay, a potentially severe blow to their World Series hopes in 2010.
According to multiple reports today, Lackey is in Boston to undergo a physical, the final step in what is believed to be an agreement with the Red Sox on a five-year deal in the $85-million range. The signing would give Boston a deep and talented rotation of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Lackey, Clay Buchholz and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
And ESPN.com is now reporting that Halladay, the 2003 American League Cy Young Award winner, is on the verge of being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in a three-team deal that is expected to send Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee to another team, believed to be the Seattle Mariners.
The Angels pursued Halladay before the July 31 trade deadline and were in serious talks with the Blue Jays about Halladay this winter.
Lackey went 102-71 with a 3.81 earned-run average in seven-plus seasons in Anaheim, including a win in Game 7 of the 2002 World Series, but the Angels were believed to be hesitant to offer a five-year deal to Lackey, who missed the first six weeks of the 2008 and 2009 seasons because of elbow injuries.
Lackey's imminent departure comes on the heels of leadoff batter Chone Figgins' decision to spurn an Angels offer to sign a four-year, $35-million deal with the Mariners last week.
With Lackey and Halladay apparently off the board, the Angels could pursue Atlanta Braves veteran right-hander Derek Lowe, who has three years and $45 million left on his contract, or free-agent right-handers Joel Pineiro or Ben Sheets.
The Angels are also pursuing free-agent slugger Hideki Matsui, the World Series most valuable player for the New York Yankees, and according to one report, they were closing in on a one-year, $6.5-million deal for the designated hitter. If Matsui signs with the Angels, it would mark the end of Vladimir Guerrero's career in Anaheim.
-- Mike DiGiovanna
Photo: Roy Halladay. Credit: Los Angeles Times.