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 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.