Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cubs, Lackey Agree on Two-Year Deal

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cubs, Lackey Agree on Two-Year Deal

Article excerpt

The last two games John Lackey pitched for the Cardinals this season were against the Chicago Cubs in the National League division playoffs. One was a brilliant, two-hit effort over 7 1/3 innings in the first game of the series, won by the Cardinals 4-0 at Busch Stadium.

The other was a three-inning, no-decision outing in Game 4 in Chicago in which he allowed four runs while pitching on short rest as he was unable to prolong the Cardinals' season.

The next game Lackey pitches will be for those same Cubs. On Friday, Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reported that the 37-year- old righthander had agreed to a two-year deal with Chicago calling for between $32 million and $34 million, pending a physical.

Lackey thus is reunited with lefthander Jon Lester, one of his best friends, who was a Boston teammate of Lackey's in the Red Sox's 2013 World Series championship season and the loser to Lackey and the Cardinals in that Game 1 playoff game this year.

More significant, Lackey has been signed for the second time to a multi-year deal via the involvement of Theo Epstein, the Cubs' president of baseball operations. After the 2009 season, Lackey signed a five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Red Sox, for whom Epstein was general manager.

That contract extended to a sixth season, 2015, because one of the provisions of that contract was that Lackey would play for the minimum ($507,500) in 2015 if he had missed any of the previous five seasons because of an injury.

Indeed, Lackey missed the 2012 season after having Tommy John elbow surgery, and the Cardinals traded pitcher Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig for him on July 31, 2014, knowing that they would have him for the minimum salary the next year.

The Cardinals rewarded Lackey with innings-pitched incentives that boosted his salary by some $2 million in 2015 and Lackey rewarded them with perhaps the best season of his career. …

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