Results tagged ‘ John Lackey ’

Defending champs focal point of deadline

Seldom has a defending World Series champion been so clearly in the middle of the action from a sellers’ perspective leading into the July 31 trade deadline. But such is life for a Red Sox team that was 48-58 entering play on Tuesday, and 8 1/2 games out for  a Wild Card spot.

Jon Lester’s availability for an elite prospect has been well-chronicled, with teams near and far checking in on the ace lefty. But John Lackey has also found his way into the middle of the rumor mill and has a more team-friendly contract for an acquiring team than Lester, who is a free agent at season’s end. When Lackey signed with the Red Sox, an extra year at the player minimum was tacked on to the end of the contract if Lackey ever missed a season due to elbow woes. That’s exactly what happened in 2012, and 2015 is the year Lackey gets paid the minimum.

Andrew Miller, who has been a dominant lefty reliever at times for the Sox this season, is a free agent at the end of the season and another enticing potential addition for a lot of contenders. The one player the Red Sox are very hesitant to deal is their reliable closer Koji Uehara, who would likely return to Boston for the qualifying offer in 2015. Uehara will be 40 next April.

Lester takes the ball for the Red Sox on Wednesday night in what should be a high-drama event, given Thursday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline.

Ian Browne

Red Sox have “genuine” interest in Duchscherer

A source close to the situation confirmed to MLB.com on Tuesday that the Red Sox have “genuine” interest in free-agent right-hander Justin Duchscherer. 

Duchscherer has experience out of the bullpen and as a starter, but he’s only looking to land on a club where he can start — though it’s hard to see where that lies on a Red Sox team that already has Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Clay Buchholz and Tim Wakefield.

It’s still very early in the process, and a free agent like Duchscherer is likely to let the market play out to see where he can be given the best opportunity in Spring Training. But a baseball source said the Red Sox’s interest is “as genuine as it can be two days into free agency.”

Duchscherer, 33 on Nov. 19, has proven he can pitch effectively when healthy, but that hasn’t been the case lately. The last time was in his first season as a starter in 2008, when he went 10-8 with a 2.54 ERA in 22 starts for Oakland.

He then missed all of ’09 while undergoing elbow surgery and being treated for depression. Then, last year — after signing a one-year, $2 million incentive-laden deal to re-up with the A’s — he went 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA in five starts before undergoing season-ending hip surgery.

Duchscherer, drafted by the Red Sox in 1996 before being traded to the Rangers for Doug Mirabelli in 2001, is currently long-tossing from 140 feet. He expects to throw some bullpen sessions before shutting it down for the holidays, and he doesn’t expect to go into Spring Training with any ailments.

Regarding the Red Sox’s own free agents, The Boston Globe wrote Tuesday that six teams — including the Red Sox — have expressed interest in Victor Martinez. 

– Alden Gonzalez

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