Stark On Lackey, Rays, Jeter

More from Jayson Stark's Rumblings and Grumblings column at…

  • One of Stark's sources says the Angels' acquisition of Scott Kazmir is not linked to John Lackey's future.  Lackey is said to have dropped his price from the C.C. Sabathia range ($161MM over seven years) to A.J. Burnett money ($82.5MM over five years) due to his recent injury history.  The Angels will attempt to re-sign Lackey, but they have their limit.  Stark's suggestion that Lackey had a "Sabathia-esque" price tag in Spring Training runs counter to Mike DiGiovanna's report that the pitcher wanted Burnett money at that time.
  • Stark feels that the Rays' trade of Kazmir will help them allocate money toward retaining Carl Crawford and/or Carlos Pena.  Crawford's 2010 club option is worth between $10-11.5MM.  Pena is signed at $10.125MM for '10 and is represented by Scott Boras.  One positive: the slugging first baseman inked a below-market deal in January of '08.
  • Derek Jeter is not talking about his next contract, but Stark feels the Yankees will take care of him.  They may wait until after next season, when Jeter finishes his current deal.
  • Rockies manager Jim Tracy is familiar with Brad Penny, and his opinion might have caused the team to back off.  And the Yankees cooled Jon Garland because they didn't see him as a difference-maker in the AL East.
  • The Marlins were in on Mike Cameron, but the Brewers decided to keep their players and win as many games as possible.
  • The White Sox "wanted something good" for Jermaine Dye, according to one Stark source.  He would not have been as easy to pry away as Jim Thome and Jose Contreras were.
  • A couple of sources are skeptical that the Red Sox will shop closer Jonathan Papelbon this winter.
  • Stark notes that only two players – Ryan Franklin and David Eckstein – signed extensions in-season.  These days it makes more sense to talk during the exclusive negotiation period after the season.  Plus, there were many bargains to be had on the free agent market last offseason.

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