There's not really a thread devoted to the rotation, but whenever I see possible starting pitchers, Lackey is listed as our #5, which seems likely. From what I recall, his recovery is on schedule, and he should be able to pitch early on in the season.
Does anyone have any projections/guesses for how he might do?
Figured this was a good jumping off point since we seem to have a bunch of threads on individual pitchers or potential moves but nothing about the rotation itself. As it currently stands we're looking at a rotation of:
Lester, Buchholz, Doubront, Lackey and a combination of Morales, DLR, Webster, Britton and Workman to piece together a 5th starter over the year. Obviously it would be a good idea to bring one more pitcher into the mix and we'll need two if Lester is dealt.
Projections for Lackey are going to be tough to nail down. There's a high rate of success with TJ surgery, but there are cases where pitchers don't bounce back. The difficult part with Lackey is pinpointing the spot where his numbers were a reflection of his injury and not just typical age related decline. He was trending down in the seasons leading up to his signing in Boston, had a rough first half in 2010 and then appeared to turn it around after the All Star break before having an awful 2011 and missing all of 2012 with the injury.
My best guess is that Lackey repeating his 2010 season totals is probably a bit optimistic but not unrealistic and would be good enough as a back of the rotation innings eater type. So trading for someone like Floyd would be a good idea if Lester is staying and probably becomes absolutely necessary if he's traded, prompting the need for a free agent signing as well.