The retooling Red Sox made two key moves in one day, reaching tentative agreements with pitcher John Lackey and outfielder Mike Cameron.
Lackey and Boston agreed on a five-year contract, according to a baseball official with knowledge of the negotiations. The deal is worth $16 million to $17.5 million a season, the official said Monday on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not yet final.
The Red Sox also reached a tentative agreement on a two-year contract with former Seattle Mariners center fielder Cameron for $7 million to $8 million annually, according to a person familiar with those negotiations. That deal is subject to a physical, the person said on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not yet final.
The moves seem to indicate Boston has abandoned an attempt to re-sign slugging outfielder Jason Bay.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Lackey, the top pitcher on the free-agent market after spending eight seasons with the Angels, was in Boston on Monday for a physical needed to complete the deal, the baseball official said.
Red Sox president Larry Lucchino and co-owner Tom Werner declined comment in e-mails to The Associated Press. Team owner John Henry and general manager Theo Epstein did not respond to e-mails.
The 31-year-old Lackey would give the Red Sox one of the best rotations in baseball, rivaling that of the New York Yankees, who added CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett before last season and then won the World Series. Sabathia signed for $161 million over seven years, while Burnett got an $82.5 million, five-year deal.
Lackey would join a rotation headlined by Josh Beckett and Jon Lester. Boston also has starters Daisuke Matsuzaka, Clay Buchholz and Tim Wakefield on the roster.
Lackey has a 102-71 regular-season record with a 3.81 ERA in eight seasons, all with the Angels. At Fenway Park, he is 2-5 with a 5.75 ERA in nine starts.
Angels grab Matsui
Hideki Matsui is headed west.
The World Series MVP and the Los Angeles Angels have reached a preliminary agreement on a one-year contract worth about $6.5 million, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because the contract was not yet final.
“I can confirm that we are in serious discussions with the Angels,” Matsui’s agent, Arn Tellem, wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
Tellem declined further comment.
Matsui, 35, surpassed 100 RBI four times in seven seasons with the Yankees after coming over from Japan, where he was an enormous star. He just completed a $52 million, four-year contract with New York.
Matsui hit .274 with 28 homers and 90 RBI last season, then was selected World Series MVP despite starting only three of the six games against Philadelphia. He went 8 for 13 (.615) with three homers and eight RBI, tying a Series record by driving in six runs in Game 6.
Milwaukee finalized a three-year, $29.75 million deal with left-hander Randy Wolf and re-signed Craig Counsell to a $2.1 million deal Monday. The Brewers also have a preliminary one-year agreement with reliever Claudio Vargas, a deal pending a physical. … St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the fourth time in less than three years that a member of the team has faced drunken-driving allegations. … The Washington Nationals and left-hander Scott Olsen have agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract. … The World Series champion New York Yankees will play the Boston Red Sox in the major league Sunday night opener on April 4. The game will be televised on ESPN2 nationally. … Backup outfielder Jason Michaels agreed to an $800,000, one-year contract with the Houston Astros