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John Lackey Rumors

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ESPN.com's Buster Olney does some speculating on where free agent pitcher John Lackey could land this offseason. Lackey, who has drawn early interest from the Mets, Brewers, and Yankees, turned down a 72 million dollar offer from the Angels earlier this year.

Assuming that deal was a five year offer, Lackey would have earned around 14.4 million dollars annually. Lackey can probably do better, but not that much better. After posting a 3.01 ERA and putting up 19 wins in 2007, Lackey has gone 23-13 with a 3.79 ERA and averaged about 134 strike outs per season.

For comparison, in the three years A.J. Burnett spent in Toronto, he went 38-26 with a 3.93 ERA, averaging 175 strike outs per season. Burnett signed a five year deal worth 82.5 million dollars with the Yankees this past off season, coming out to 16.5 million dollars annually.

While they both have World Series rings, Lackey has put up better postseason numbers (3-4 W-L, 3.12 ERA, 14 games) than Burnett, who posted a 5.27 ERA in five starts this past postseason.

If the Angels matched the Yankees' offer to Burnett, they could probably lock him up swiftly. However, the longer they wait the more, the more time other teams have to make a move.

Olney believes the Mariners are the best bet to sign Lackey, with the Angels, Brewers, Mets, Red Sox, and Yankees as the most likely destinations.