The Boston Red Sox yesterday finalized an $82.5 million, five-year contract for pitcher John Lackey and a $15.5 million, two-year agreement for outfielder Mike Cameron.
Now, with Lackey, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, who all started championship-winning games, the Red Sox's rotation shapes up as one of baseball's best.
"I've heard nothing but good things about those guys, about their work ethic," Lackey said. "I'm ready to jump in with them and get it on, man."
The Red Sox also must figure out whether the Mike Lowell-to-Texas trade will go through and have been discussing whether to acquire Adrian Gonzalez from San Diego, a deal that could send Clay Buchholz and/or Jacoby Ellsbury to the Padres.
Lowell, a third baseman who hit 17 homers and batted .290, would be headed to the Rangers for catcher Max Ramirez if the Rangers' doctors are satisfied with his medical exam.
Boston almost certainly will lose leftfielder Jason Bay, a free agent who hit 36 homers last year.
Angels. World Series MVP Hideki Matsui finalized a $6 million, one-year contract with Los Angeles, ending his seven-season run with the New York Yankees.
Matsui hit .274 with 28 homers and 90 RBIs last season for the Yankees, then was selected World Series MVP despite starting only three of the six games against the Phillies. The two-time all-star went 8 for 13 (.615) with three homers and eight RBIs, tying a Series record by driving in six runs in Game 6.
Slowed by surgically repaired knees, the 35-year-old Matsui will replace Vladimir Guerrero as Los Angeles' primary DH. Guerrero, who turns 35 in February, also has been hobbled by injuries and is a free agent.
Nationals. Washington will freeze or cut prices on all single-game tickets for the second consecutive year.
The cost of more than 3,000 seats at Nationals Park will be reduced when sold for individual games, some from $30 to $24, others from $18 to $17, the team said.
Noteworthy. A source told the Associated Press that the Baltimore Orioles have reached a preliminary agreement on a $12 million, two-year contract with lefthander Mike Gonzalez, who went 5-4 with a 2.42 ERA and 10 saves for Atlanta last season. . . . Detroit agreed to a $2.5 million, two-year deal with infielder Ramon Santiago, who had been eligible for arbitration.