Red Sox Notes: Lackey, Beckett, Payroll

John Lackey's five-year, $82.5MM contract with the Red Sox was officially announced today.  Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets the details: the frontloaded deal pays a $3.5MM signing bonus, $18MM in 2010, and $15.25MM in each of the next four seasons.  On to some Lackey-related links…

  • WEEI's Rob Bradford has a transcript of the press conference.  Sox GM Theo Epstein said he was surprised Lackey was interested in coming to Boston.  Lackey said he had negotiations with more than two teams.
  • In another post, Bradford relays a quote from Epstein saying that the GM texted Josh Beckett to tell the pitcher he's still a huge part of the team's future.  Beckett is eligible for free agency after the season.  Will he have a huge contract year?
  • WEEI's Alex Speier says Boston's payroll is at an all-time franchise high and projects to be just under the $170MM luxury tax threshold.  Once they get over $170MM there is a 22.5% penalty.

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