BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox made a major splash Thursday morning by trading away Jon Lester. Just hours later, they traded away John Lackey, too.
The Sox traded Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Red Sox will receive outfielder/first baseman Allen Craig and pitcher Joe Kelly in return.
Lackey, 35, is 21-20 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.188 WHIP over the past two seasons. Last year in the postseason, he went 3-1 with a 2.77 ERA in 26 innings (four starts, five total appearances). He allowed just one run over 6 2/3 innings to earn the win in the clinching Game 6 of the World Series against the Cardinals at Fenway Park.
Lackey has spent his entire career in the American League, playing his first eight seasons for the Angels before signing with the Red Sox prior to the 2010 season.
Craig, 30, is a career .291 hitter. He batted .375 with a .412 on-base percentage against the Red Sox in the World Series last October. Craig is under contract through 2017, making an average of $8.5 million per year, and his contract includes a club option for 2018 worth $13 million (with a $1 million buyout).
Kelly, 26, is 17-14 with a 3.25 ERA in his career. This season, he is 2-2 with a 4.37 ERA in just seven starts. He will be arbitration eligible in 2016.
Trading Lackey does not come as a surprise, as Ken Rosenthal reported earlier this season that the veteran right-hander would likely opt to retire next season rather than play out the year for the $500,000 salary which his contact dictates he’ll make. The Red Sox were faced with the choice of either presenting Lackey with an extension or trading him away. Currently in last place in the AL East, they elected to trade the righty.
Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reported that the Cardinals expect Lackey to play in 2015 for $500,000.
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