Poll: John Lackey is Impressive, so is Matt Holliday

Last night, John Lackey pitched 6.2 innings, struck out seven, walked three, and let up six hits and three runs.

he is impressive… he might have escaped his final inning unscathed, had it not been for a questionable ball four, which was an inside strike

… friends who love the Angels have told me he throws strikes, he’s a big-time competitor, and he is always in command of his stuff, but, though this serves him well most starts, because of it, he can get burned pretty easily and doesn’t seem to have the ability to adjust and work out of trouble… 

Ed Leyro of Mets Merized Online asks, “Did Lackey just pitch his way on to the Mets?”

…i don’t know, but, what’s wooing me is his control, ability to change speeds and levels, and he’s clearly a bulldog out on that mound

Last week, Joel Sherman of the New York Post said he doesn’t believe Lackey is interested in playing in New York, adding, “He is a Texan who longs to pitch for the Rangers.”

That said, Jon Heyman of SI.com believes the Mets, Yankees and Dodgers are among the logical landing spots for Lackey.

…i agree… i have heard from people around the game that, while lackey would love to pitch for the Rangers, they are not likely to give him the level contract he is seeking, and, ‘it’s time for him to be paid,’ as he is said to feel like he took a discount the last two times around with the Angels… according to people close to lackey, he doesn’t want to be a star, he just wants to win, and be paid well

he’d be a fantastic pitcher for Citi Field… he is exactly what the Mets need, in that he’s not an ace, but he’s a bonafide next-level guy… also, he’s as emotional and intense and focused as Johan Santana, he doesn’t walk people, he lets hitters put the ball in play and he has tremendous command of his pitches, while changing speeds and keeping hitters off balance… lastly, he clearly is not intimidated by anything, including the big-game spotlight

Lackey rejected a three-year, $40 million contract extension last spring from the Angels that would have taken affect at the start of next season.  According to Heyman, “Lackey could double that as a free agent,” and net A.J. Burnett money, i.e., $82 million over five years.

lackey and Matt Holliday will cost nearly $35 million on next season’s payroll… i love this team, but i’ve never seen them spend that much on just two people in one off season… Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez were close, but not $35 million, which is a whole other level of spending, when you consider they have other holes to fill as well… and, so, you’d need to go a long way to convince me they will this off season, and i’m not even sure it’s the smartest long-term move anyway… of course, never have there been two people, both free agents, who fit the team’s two biggest needs, available in the same off season following one of the worst three-year periods in team history, all with a new ballpark to fill

The 30–year-old Lackey finished the regular season 11–8 with a 3.83 ERA in 27 starts, while missing six weeks at the start of the season with a forearm strain.  He also missed the first six weeks in 2008 with a strained tricep, but finished the season 12–5 in 24 starts with a 3.75 ERA.

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