Most of the attention being paid to the Boston Red Sox has been focused on a potential deal involving Jon Lester, but the chances of John Lackey being traded as well are increasing. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal hears that there is a “very good chance” that both players will be moved before Thursday’s trade deadline.
Source: “Very good chance” that #RedSox trade Lackey along with Lester.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2014
Lackey has not been shy about expressing his unhappiness with his current contract situation. The original deal he signed with the Red Sox contained a clause that gave the team an option for 2015 at the league minimum – roughly $500,000 – should he miss significant time with an elbow injury during the length of his deal. When Lackey was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the 2012 season that clause kicked in.
Lackey’s frustrations stem from his belief that the team should give him an extension instead, wiping that clause off the books. He’s pitched well since returning to the team from the injury. In 50 starts over the past two seasons he has a 3.55 ERA and 1.188 WHIP.
Boston is under no obligation to void the clause, but there have been rumblings of the team’s potential interest in working out an extension that would keep Lackey in town through the 2016 season. However, with his public outcry over the situation and the team sitting at the bottom of the AL East it is becoming more and more likely that he too could be dealt. His contract situation – specifically being under team control for next season – makes him attractive to clubs looking to bolster their pitching staff for a stretch run this year. Any team that were to acquire Lackey would likely end up working out an extension with him, according to various reports.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals have reportedly expressed some level of interest. The Miami Marlins could also be in the mix.
Boston will almost assuredly be looking to bring back at least one starting pitcher in these deals, particularly if they move both Lackey and Lester, to help provide depth to the rotation. The organization does have a number of big league ready arms in Triple-A but adding someone who is established and under team control would be vital if they are going to move both veterans.