Boston Red Sox deal John Lackey to St. Louis Cardinals for Joe Kelly and Allen Craig
By William Lewis
In baseball betting news, the Red Sox dealt their number-two pitcher John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals on Major League Baseball’s trade-deadline day, just hours after the American League East club traded their ace Jon Lester to the Oakland A’s for Yoenis Cespedes. In return for Lackey the Red Sox received right-handed starter Joe Kelly and first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig. The Red Sox also chipped and sent cash considerations to St. Louis along with minor league left-handed pitcher Corey Littrell.
The 30-year-old Craig arrives in Beantown with a contract that takes him through 2017 and there’s also a club option for 2018. He was batting .237 this season with seven home runs and 44 RBIs. The 26-year-old Kelly will be eligible for salary arbitration at the end of next season. Craig was a key player for the Cardinals in the 2011 World Series as he hammered three home runs against Texas in the Fall Classic. St. Louis went on to win the series in the seventh and deciding game. He also shined in last year’s World Series as he batted .375 against Boston. However, it wasn’t enough as the Red Sox took the title in six games with Lackey getting the win in the clinching game.
Kelly joins an inexperienced pitching Rotation at Fenway Park as it now includes Clay Buchholz, Allan Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, and Brandon Workman. Lackey was originally signed by the Red Sox in December of 2009 when he agreed to an $82.5 million, five-year deal. The club also had an option for a sixth season if Lackey had to be placed on the injury list. It turned out to be a wise clause since the right-hander missed the 2012 season due to Tommy John surgery.
The trade means the 35-year-old Lackey has gone from a last-place team to a club that has a shot at the playoffs as the Cardinals were just 2.5 games behind the lead in the National League Central Division at the time of the trade. It won’t be long before he’s reunited with his old Red Sox teammates though since Boston visits St. Louis for a three-game series between August 5 and 7. He leaves the Red Sox after starting 21 games this year and going 11-7 with an ERA of 3.60.
In return, Boston gets a pitcher who has started just seven games this season in Kelly. He missed approximately 12 weeks of action due to a torn left hamstring which he suffered while running the bases. Kelly helped the Cardinals win the National League pennant last season by pitching as a starter and out of the bullpen. He went 10-5 in 2013 in 37 games and posted an ERA of 2.69. He started 15 of those contests and posted a 9-3 record along with a fine 2.28 ERA. However, Kelly struggled this year when he wasn’t injured as he was 2-2 and owned a 4.37 ERA in seven games, which were all starts.