Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 10/25/11

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

According to multiple industry sources, Red Sox right-hander John Lackey ‬recently visited Dr. Lewis Yocum in California to have his right elbow examined. According to one of the sources, the Red Sox are expecting "a final resolution" in the coming days after receiving the examination's results. The source stated that the organization doesn't believe a second opinion will be necessary.

If the worst-case scenario -- Tommy John surgery -- is realized it would have a ‪significant impact on Lackey's contract with the Sox. His deal with Boston included a vesting option at the major league minimum (currently $414,000) for a sixth season if he required season-ending surgery on a pre-existing elbow condition. ‬Such an operation‪ would trigger the option, thus making the contract a six-year, $83 million deal -- thus meaning that, for luxury tax purposes, his contract is valued at roughly $13.8 million rather than $16.5 million, something that could mean millions of dollars in luxury tax relief to the Sox. ‬

WEEI | Yocum examines Lackey; 'Resolution near'

When I saw chatter about this on Twitter, my first instinct was to think contract, too. However, my concern was that there might a stipulation where we could void it if a prior injury popped up (a la JD Drew's deal). I can't say I'm all that excited that the brain trust decided to make the contract longer if he gets hurt.

That said, it is a creative way to do it, and of course if Lackey is even more garbage by 2015 than he is now, I guess he could end up being a bargain. Which would be a new feeling for him.

I don't mean to make light of an injury. Obviously, none of us wishes this on Lackey. If he has Tommy John surgery, he's down for a year, and rehabbing is both not easy and inconsistent in terms of results. It's worth noting that, in a weird way, this might be exactly what Lackey needs. Give him a year away from the team, re-focus, build up his arm again. It might not hurt.

Of course, then we need to find a pitcher. If we want to go the "sign an old guy to an expensive contract" route (a popular Red Sox philosophy), the Phillies just cut Roy Oswalt loose. Of course, we have a few candidates in house (Michael Bowden and Felix Doubront, mostly), or maybe even stretching Daniel Bard into a starter.

For the last decade, I gave everything I had to the Red Sox and received even more in return. I grew enormously as a person, had some successes, and made a lot of mistakes, too. I still love the organization, enjoy close relationships with owners John Henry and Tom Werner - as well as a complicated but ultimately productive and rewarding relationship with Larry Lucchino - and count many of my co-workers among my dearest friends. The reason I am leaving has nothing to do with power, pressure, money, or relationships. It has nothing to do with September, either.

Football legend Bill Walsh used to say that coaches and executives should seek change after 10 years with the same team. The theory is that both the individual and the organization benefit from a change after so much time together. The executive gets rebirth and the energy that comes with a new challenge; the organization gets a fresh perspective, and the chance for true change that comes with new leadership. This idea resonated with me. Although I tried my best to fight it, I couldn’t escape the conclusion that both the Red Sox and I would benefit from a change sometime soon.

Globe | Farewell, Red Sox Nation

And the winner of the best-written piece of the day goes to Theo. It's a pretty heartfelt op-ed that accepts responsibility and explains the thinking behind going to the Cubs in a pretty believable way.

Just go read it, it's well done. We wish you well in Chicago, Theo. And today we get to see Ben Cherington's introduction, and officially turn the page.

Herald | Theo Epstein has some explaining to do | Ben Cherington's on deck | Anyone can see Sox are fine with Ben Cherington in for Theo Epstein | Today's the big day | Globe | Getting his turn with Sox | Task for Epstein is decidedly difficult | CSNNE | Epstein says 'Farewell' | Sox, Cubs to hold press conferences Tuesday | ESPNBoston | Ben Cherington must restore confidence | Better get crackin' Ben... | It's official Tuesday | Door open for John Farrell to return to Boston?

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