Last week John Lackey denied speculation that he may need Tommy John elbow surgery and then tossed 7.2 innings of two-run ball against the Phillies, but the Red Sox right-hander was back to his old tricks this afternoon.
Lackey failed to make it out of the third inning versus the Blue Jays, coughing up seven runs while recording just seven outs, and was booed off the mound at Fenway Park.
Lackey allowed nine hits in 2.1 innings, including a homer to Aaron Hill, and his ERA now stands at a hideous 7.34.
Boston can demote him to the bullpen or place him back on the disabled list, but with Lackey owed $15.25 million this season with the same salary due in 2012, 2013, and 2014 he’s going to be their problem for a while.
So far the Red Sox have paid him about $23 million for 287 innings of 5.14 ERA pitching.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.