2015 St. Louis Cardinals Season Review: Top Performers
3. John Lackey
Lackey, could have made my list of surprises, had it not been for the rookie takeover this season. I wasn’t too sure what we were going to get out of Lackey this season. I kind of figured he’d be decent enough to keep the Cards in games and give them a chance every fifth day to win.
Lackey, had a career year in many facets of his game this season. Lackey posted a record of 13-10 (not accurate of his value of course), with a career low ERA of 2.77 and a really good walk rate of of 2.19 (third best of his career). The 13 year veteran proved he still has some left in the tank and will make John Mozeliak think very hard on whether or not he wants to attempt to bring the veteran starter back.
While Lackey had a great year and a great two years here, I really view this as a similar to the Carlos Beltran situation from a couple years ago. You make him a qualifying offer and if he accepts it, so be it, if not the Cardinals will get a draft pick out of it. My preference would be to accept the option of Jaime Garcia and let Lackey walk, giving room for one of the young studs to take a spot in the rotation if there is an injury.