Lackey Can't Pitch Yet, Will Talk Contract

Negotiations are all about leverage. And when you’re a pitcher on the disabled list, in a down economy, you don’t have any.

John Lackey has learned that lesson.

John Lackey's self-imposed deadline of opening day for a contract extension appears to be fluid, now that an elbow injury has forced the Angels' right-hander to the disabled list….

"Opening day is not my opening day anymore," said Lackey, who was shut down two weeks ago because of a forearm strain. "I'm going to let my agent handle that. I'm just worried about getting healthy now and helping us win. It's not going to be a distraction."

Lackey says all the right things there. The real question he and his agent need to weigh is one even President Obama can’t answer — will the economy recover sufficiently by this winter to make testing the free agent market the right call?

The wise thing to do is not to anger the team with the current contract and the only other one at the negotiating table. A deal may or may not come out of extended negotiations, but you don’t let go of the bird in the hand, especially in this economy.

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