I woke up today at 4 in the morning. No good reason why other than that I'd uncharacteristically fallen asleep at 8 PM last night, but I had some time to kill before my 11 AM class. It was Monday, which meant it was time for me to get the Minor League update together. I did that on-off for a while, along with other random internet browsing, and eventually got it posted around 9 AM.
Looking around, I found out that the Mike Lowell trade had even more hitches, as his right thumb could require surgery. The status of the trade--and of 3rd base in 2010--seemed murkier than ever before. After signing Marco Scutaro on the 4th, the Red Sox had been remarkably quiet. Half the world seemed to think they were after Bay, the other half that they'd given up and moved on to Holliday, but there was nothing at all concrete. Anyways, I threw it up on the front page and went to class after mucking about for an hour.
At this point, the day had all the makings of a slow news day. Nothing was "in the works" that seemed likely to go down soon. In fact, it seemed like we might go quite a while before seeing any movement on any front.
And then came the storm.
It started when I noticed Randy had posted that John Lackey had taken a physical for the Red Sox. The next two hours were filled with speculation: had Lackey signed? Was this a ruse? A ploy? If he signed, for how much, and was that good?
At 3:30, I was back from class, and Randy had confirmation enough to put it on the front page. John Lackey, the #1 pitching free agent of the 2009-2010 offseason, had signed with the Boston Red Sox. The deal? 5 years, 85 million. The reaction? Mixed.
Knowing that Lackey had signed, though, had done nothing but fuel speculation. The Red Sox had 6 starters (all of whom seem set to start out of Spring Training), a hole at 3rd, and one very marketable young starter in Clay Buchholz. Was this a sign of things to come?
So far, we've seen nothing on that end. But that doesn't mean the Sox stopped there. No, within 2 hours, the Sox were in "serious talks" with center fielder Mike Cameron. 3 hours later, they had reached an agreement for 2 years and 15 million dollars.
In less than 12 hours, the Red Sox had made their mark on the postseason. They had set their outfield for the season, with a significant defensive improvement hopefully balancing out the loss of Jason Bay's bat. Whether Ellsbury will move to left or Cameron will take over there remains to be seen, but either way they've changed their defensive look for the better. More importantly, they bolstered their rotation to the point where it's a strong contender for the best in the MLB. The cherry on the top? Lackey was a potential candidate to fill holes for American League rival Yankees and Angels. The Yankees will now have to try and either make due with Joba and Hughes at #4 and #5--both of whom are significant question marks--and the Angels are in dire trouble with few solutions in sight.
Of course, nothing comes without consequences. The Red Sox are now spending at nearly Yankee levels. They've lost, in effect, a 2nd round pick by signing Lackey. The Blue Jays will now get that pick while the first rounder goes to the Angels. The Sox are still, ironically, without an answer to the question that started the day off, as 3rd base remains conspicuously vacant. Who knows whether the Sox can still afford signing Adrian Beltre? And is our offense good enough without any power bats on the left side of the field? And who on Earth is going to come out of the mess of humanity that is the Red Sox' bullpen? There's plenty still left to do.
Oh, yeah, and Roy Halladay went to the NL while Cliff Lee hits Seattle. The Jays? They got some of the young, cheap talent they needed all along, but it's going to be a long year for them.
So, Red Sox Nation, Over the Monster readers:
What kind of day has it been?