It was one of the perks that made John Lackey so valuable to the St. Louis Cardinals. A pretty sweet perk, actually!
The player’s contract locked Lackey in to earn the Major League minimum in 2015 if he missed significant time due to injury during his five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Red Sox. Lackey sat out the 2012 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
And Boom! Just like that, the Cardinals get to keep the edgy, innings eater for a complete season.
It was never a question really. Lackey was pretty committed, from the time he arrived in St. Louis, that he would be back with the team next season.
According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com:
"After being traded to the Cardinals in July, Lackey confirmed that he would honor the final year of his contract, even though he will make just slightly higher than $500,000 in 2015. He has already earned more than $100 million over his 12-year Major League career.The Cardinals acquired Lackey, 36, in a Trade Deadline deal that sent Allen Craig and Joe Kelly to the Red Sox. The veteran right-hander made 10 regular-season and two postseason starts for the Cardinals, combining to go 4-3 with a 4.15 ERA.While the Cardinals had five other players — Jason Motte, Pat Neshek, Mark Ellis, A.J. Pierzynski and Justin Masterson — officially join the free-agent market on Thursday, the organization had no other contractual team options to weigh."
I’m glad that Lackey and the Cardinals honored the agreement. Once Lackey became comfortable with the team, you could see that he was capable of being amazing. He just needed to get that edge in check! And, honestly. Don’t we all?!
I look forward to seeing what he can do for a full season and a second postseason with the Cardinals. A full season of working with the pitching staff, Yadier Molina and the rest of the team. It could be incredibly fun to have that edge on our side!