Red Sox open vault for Lackey

BOB ELLIOTT AND SUN WIRE SERVICES

, Last Updated: 3:19 AM ET

BOSTON -- A baseball official with knowledge of the negotiations says John Lackey and the Boston Red Sox have reached a tentative agreement on a five-year contract.

The deal is worth $16 million to $17 million US a season, the official said on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet final.

Lackey, the top pitcher on the free-agent market after eight seasons with the Angels, was in Boston for a physical yesterday needed to complete the agreement, the official said.

The addition of Lackey would give the Red Sox an especially strong rotation that includes Josh Beckett and Jon Lester.

Angels after Godzilla

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Hideki Matsui and the Angels are in "serious discussions" about a contract that would bring the World Series MVP to Los Angeles.

Matsui batted .274 with 28 home runs and 90 RBIs for the New York Yankees last season, then was selected World Series MVP despite starting only three of the six games against Philadelphia.

Slowed by surgically repaired knees, the 35-year-old Matsui would replace Vladimir Guerrero as Los Angeles' primary designated hitter. Guerrero, also hobbled by injuries, will turn 35 in February.

Briefly

Randy Wolf has finalized his $29.75-million US, three-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, who also agreed yesterday to a $2.1-million deal with infielder Craig Counsell ... The Blue Jays signed free-agent catcher Ramon Castro, 33, to a one-year deal. Castro, who has played parts of 11 seasons in the majors played 57 games in 2009 with the New York Mets and the Chicago White Sox, hitting .219 with seven homers and 25 RBIs.


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