Jul 27, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher John Lackey (41) smiles in the dugout during the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Image Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Trade: St. Louis Cardinals send Allen Craig and Joe Kelly to Boston Red Sox for John Lackey

Hours before the July 31 trading deadline, the St. Louis Cardinals have traded first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig and right-handed pitcher Joe Kelly to Boston Red Sox for right-handed pitcher John Lackey and minor league left-handed pitcher Corey Littrell.

Everyone had a feeling going into the trading deadline that Allen Craig would be moved so as to make room for Oscar Taveras as the regular right-fielder. It was not going to be Matt Adams–not with the season that he has had so far!

In Lackey, the Cardinals get a veteran pitcher with a 149-114 record and a 4.02 ERA over 12 seasons in the big leagues. Moreover, Lackey has been to the postseason so it comes as no surprise as to why the Cardinals made the move. In 19 postseason apperaances, Lackey owns a career 6-5 record and 3.03 ERA. Lackey also comes with a $500,000 team option for 2015. I expect that the Cardinals will likely pick that up.

Craig was an All-Star during the 2013 season and deservedly so but the 2014 campaign has seen the first baseman/outfielder in a season-long slump. Whether that is due to his injury late last year remains to be seen. What is does for sure will get Taveras as a regular into the lineup.

Kelly made his debut during the 2012 season. He’s appeared in a total of 68 games for the Cards, 38 of which have been starts. In his brief career, he is 17-14 with a 3.25 ERA. This season, Kelly is 2-2 with a 4.37 ERA. Due to a hamstring injury, Kelly has missed a bulk of the season.

It will be interesting to see how this trade impacts Shelby Miller. Miller and Kelly are great friends and served as the best man at each other’s wedding.

Littrell, the fifth round selection for Boston in 2013 out of the University of Kentucky, has posted a 5-5 record with a 3.60 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) for Salem (A, Carolina League) this season.

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Tags: Allen Craig Corey Littrell Joe Kelly John Lackey St Louis Cardinals

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