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Red Sox sign John Lackey

The Red Sox and John Lackey have reportedly agreed to a five year deal worth 85 million dollars,'s Jon Heyman is reporting. 

The Red Sox snag Lackey on a great market-value deal, giving them one of the best rotations in the AL and certainly in the AL East. After talks went south with Jason Bay, the Sox turned their attention to the starting pitcher, rather to build up their pitching instead of offense. 

Lackey gives the Red Sox a lot of options down the road. The Sox can choose to go after a big name power bat, surrendering young pitching like Michael Bowden or Clay Buchholz. Or, they could let Jon Lester and John Lackey lead that rotation by making Josh Beckett available this season, perhaps using him to entice the Brewers or Padres into making a big move around Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez, respectively.

Lackey, 31, was 102-71 with a 3.81 career ERA in eight seasons with the Angels, and 3-4 with a 3.12 ERA in the postseason.

The move will likely force the Angels to step up their pursuits for Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay, who reportedly is in Philadelphia with his agent, presumably to negotiate a new deal if the Jays and Phils can agree to a deal. 

The Angels already lost out on Chone Figgins and now Lackey puts them a couple steps back from their 2009 team. With no other legitimate starting pitchers on the free agent market, the addition of  power bat like Jason Bay is plausible.