Previously, Angels pitcher John Lackey had expressed a desire to wrap up contract extension talks by Opening Day. A couple weeks ago Lackey suggested the Angels were "not trying very hard" and he'd be comfortable going to free agency. It was thought that Lackey wanted something in the range of five years and $80MM.
The Angels are willing to talk about an extension during the season. Now that Lackey is dealing with an elbow injury, he's softened his stance according to Mike DiGiovanna and Kevin Baxter of the L.A. Times:
"Opening day is not my opening day anymore," said Lackey, who was shut down two weeks ago because of a forearm strain. "I'm going to let my agent handle that. I'm just worried about getting healthy now and helping us win. It's not going to be a distraction."
It's a tough call for the Angels – do they use this leverage to sign Lackey at a reasonable price? Or do they consider the '08 and '09 injuries red flags for the future?