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Red Sox activate John Lackey for Sunday start vs. A’s

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As expected, the Red Sox have activated right-hander John Lackey from the 15-day disabled list and will ask him to take the mound in Sunday’s series finale against the A’s. Temporary backup outfielder Josh Reddick was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket to clear a roster spot.

Lackey spent about three weeks on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his right elbow. He made just one rehab start, Tuesday at Triple-A Pawtucket, and threw only 63 pitches in that outing. The Red Sox, therefore, will limit him to 90 tosses in his return to a major league mound Sunday.

Lackey, 32, has posted a dreadful 8.01 ERA and 1.81 WHIP in seven starts this season. He’s fanned just 19 batters and issued 18 walks in 39 1/3 innings. The Red Sox need far better from the man they handed a five-year, $82.5 million contract in December of 2009.

Rockies sign Ian Desmond for five years, $70 million

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 07:  Ian Desmond #20 of the Texas Rangers reacts after hitting a double against the Toronto Blue Jays in the seventh inning of game two of the American League Divison Series at Globe Life Park in Arlington on October 7, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The Rockies have signed free agent outfielder/infielder Ian Desmond for five years and $70 million.

Desmond, 31, played his first season as a full-time outfielder with the Rangers in 2016. Before that he was the Nationals shortstop. He’ll almost certainly be an outfielder in Colorado, as the Rockies have Trevor Story at short. Desmond hit .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs, 86 RBI, 107 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases in 677 plate appearances, though he was much, much better in the first half than the second half.

The Rangers had placed a qualifying offer on him which he rejected, so the Rockies will have to give up their first round pick in the 2017 draft, which is 11th overall. That’s the highest pick a team can surrender under the qualifying offer system, as the first ten picks in the draft are protected.

Jeff Locke signed by the Marlins

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 13: Relief pitcher Jeff Locke #49 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the eighth inning of the baseball game at Dodger Stadium Stadium August 13, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Marlins have signed lefty Jeff Locke. Terms have yet to be disclosed.

Locke was non-tendered by the Pirates last week after putting up a 5.44 ERA over 127.3 innings in 2016. He’s just 29 and, even if he’s never been super great or anything, he has pitched better in the past, posting a career 4.16 ERA before last season.