John Lackey started his career in Southern California and had some pretty good success. He leveraged that success into a fat five-year contract with the Red Sox. Now, two years in to that contract, the question has been asked as to whether or not both of those parties would benefit from a split.
If that were to happen, would a return to SoCal, more specifically San Diego, be in order?
According to Tom Krasovic, writer of the Inside the Padres blog, that could be a possibility. Krasovic speculated that Lackey could revitalize his career with a move to San Diego, and a Padres source told Krasovic that the idea dealing for Lackey "is not far-fetched at all."
Of course, such a move would not be necessarily easy for the Sox to pull off. Under the parameters that Krasovic sets out, Boston would likely have to eat a ton of Lackey's contract. Krasovic reasons that the Red Sox would have to pay "most" of the $45 million left on Lackey's contract over the next three years.
Additionally, Krasovic would like to see the Red Sox take on the contract of second baseman Orlando Hudson, a pact worth $7.5 million. The Red Sox already have a second baseman in Dustin Pedroia, you say? "Let the Sox sort it out," Krasovic writes.
Ultimately, it could be a win-win for both sides. There are plenty who feel that Lackey will never find success in Boston, and after another dismal year, it's time to cut losses and move on. On the other side, Krasovic points out, the Padres could help turn Lackey around. A move to San Diego would not only mean Lackey would be able to pitch in spacious Petco Park in a light-hitting NL West, but he'd also be reunited with Pads manager Bud Black, who served as Lackey's pitching coach in Anaheim.
At this point, it's all speculation with a "Padres official" saying it wouldn't be "far-fetched." It's not even necessarily a rumor at this point. But with the way Lackey's tenure in Boston has gone, expect to hear more scenarios like this pop up throughout the offseason.