The St. Louis Cardinals landed another middle-of-the-rotation veteran Thursday, acquiring John Lackey from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for starting pitcher Joe Kelly and Allen Craig, who can play first base and the corner outfield positions.
Lackey was a Cy Young candidate earlier in his career with the Los Angeles Angels, but after signing a five-year, $75 million free agent contract with the Red Sox, he missed the 2012 season to have Tommy John elbow surgery.
The operation triggered a contract clause that creates a team option for next season at a salary of just $500,000.
Lackey is 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA this season, and was the third Red Sox starter to be moved. Jake Peavy was dealt to the San Francisco Giants last week and early Thursday, Boston sent staff ace Jon Lester to the Oakland Athletics for outfield Yoenis Cespedes.
Craig's spot is likely to be filled by the Cardinals' top prospect, Oscar Taveras. Craig, 30, is batting .237 in 97 games this season with just seven home runs. He was projected as a cleanup-type hitter and run producer but injuries have limited him to 469 games in his career. He is a career .291 hitter.
Kelly turned 26 in June and made just seven starts in 2014 with a 2-2 record. Kelly was 10-5 with a 2.69 ERA a season ago.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun