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Posted: Monday December 14, 2009 3:03PM; Updated: Monday December 14, 2009 7:33PM

Lackey said to agree with Red Sox

Story Highlights

John Lackey could be close to a deal with Boston for around $85 million

He went 11-8 with a 3.83 ERA in 27 starts for the Los Angeles Angels in 2008

By Jon Heyman,

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Top free agent pitcher John Lackey is said to be in agreement on a five-year, $85 million contract with the Boston Red Sox, sources say. Lackey has scheduled a physical with the team.

Lackey's deal with the Red Sox is similar to the $82.5 million, five-year contract A.J. Burnett got with the Yankees last offseason. "That's what they were looking for,'' an AL executive said.

Lackey has had a couple minor issues with his shoulder and back in recent seasons, so the Red Sox will want to check him out. But nothing serious is expected to be found.

Lackey would enhance an excellent rotation for Boston, which already has Josh Beckett and Jon Lester. The Red Sox had been trying to re-sign Jason Bay, but that seems unlikely now. They have talked to free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre, among others.

The Mariners, Yankees and incumbent Angels were among others that showed interest in Lackey.

The Yankees are one of at least three teams that's been showing interest in star Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay, so perhaps the Lackey deal will spur them to get more involved.

AOL FanHouse first reported news of Lackey's physical.



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