The latest from Joel Sherman of the New York Post…
- The Angels' willingness to let John Lackey leave without a serious offer raises a red flag for at least a few execs with other clubs. With Lackey being the best available free agent starter, it's easy to forget that his 2009 season did not begin until May 16th due to an elbow strain. In 2008, he began on May 14th because of a triceps strain.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports also has a Lackey article, and it takes a different tone. Rosenthal says the Angels would still like to re-sign Lackey, adding that "Plan B could be a renewed effort to trade for Roy Halladay."
- Heyman assesses the Phillies and attempts to douse rumors about them eyeing Chone Figgins and Halladay. He does see the needs as third base, the rotation, and the back of the bullpen. Our own Mike Axisa wondered if my Jose Valverde prediction made sense, because Valverde might prefer to sign somewhere he'll surely close. Maybe a guy like Brandon Lyon fits better. David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News says GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has reached out to at least six free agents, and Murphy provides guesses. Two clubs made trade offers as well.
- A $90MM payroll might keep the Giants out of the Matt Holliday–Jason Bay bidding. Sherman suggests the Giants are not locked into a first base acquisition in the infield – Pablo Sandoval can play both corners, and Freddy Sanchez can even be considered at third base if the Giants pursue another second baseman. Sherman says the Giants are currently looking to re-sign Brad Penny and Bengie Molina. Since he made only six starts for the Giants, you have to look to 2007 as the last time Penny truly had success. Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News believes the Giants will at least offer arbitration to Molina, which I imagine will hurt his market.