BOSTON (CBS) – Because he missed the entire 2012 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, the Red Sox have a team option in 2015 to pick up starting pitcher John Lackey’s contract for $500,000 — a steal with the way he’s been playing the past year.
Lackey closed the door on the Cardinals in game six of the 2013 World Series in the clinching game, and is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA, a WHIP of 0.85, 11 strikeouts and three walks in 2014. With the way things are currently constituted, Lackey’s contract will dip from $15.25 million to $500,000 in a year’s time.
This led to a bigger discussion on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show about honoring contracts.
Fred Toucher, for one, thinks there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of Lackey playing the season for half a million dollars.
“If I’m John Lackey, and the Red Sox don’t renegotiate my contract in the offseason, I’m not throwing one pitch for the league minimum. Not one,” Fred said to kick off the conversation.
“Why? You got paid $15 million to do nothing for one year while getting back to health. You didn’t pitch in 2012,” added Rich.
“If I’m John Lackey, at that age, I’m not throwing one pitch. You’d be out of your mind to play for $500,000 at his stature. And I think for the Red Sox it’d be bad business,” said Fred.
“You keep saying $500,000, but for the Red Sox it’s what, $80 million? You have to take the totality of the contract that they did,” said Rich.
Jon Wallach notes that given Lackey’s age, 35, teams aren’t gonna be lining up at season’s end to sign him to another big contract anyways, so he’s in agreement with Fred that it’d be bad business to play hardball with him.
“This ownership is acutely aware of the situation. They’re gonna extend him out. He’s not gonna get a crapload of money somewhere else. They’re gonna pay him. It’s an older guy that’s contributed, and is certainly worth more than you’re going to pay him. Everybody realizes that. The Red Sox ownership will take care of business,” concluded Wallach.
Listen below for the full discussion: