Ben Cherington has been a busy guy today, overhauling the Red Sox in the course if a few hours. After wheeling Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to Oakland for Yoenis Cespedes, he then traded John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig.
At this point, anybody who has the first name of Jon or John, and does not have a last name of Henry, should start to be concerned about their employment at Yawkey Way.
For Lackey, the one-time gruff, but lovable, fried-chicken eating, beer-chugging malcontent who reinvented himself as a valuable pitcher, he joins a Cards staff in need of arms. Due to a unique clause in his contract, he was due to be paid ‘only’ $500,000 next year. I’m sure he never would have mentioned that AT ALL during the course of the year.
In return, the Sox get a couple of serviceable players. Craig was an All-Star last year and one of St. Louis’ top hitters over the past few seasons. But this season, at the dreaded age of 30, he has struggled, batting a career-low .237 with 7 home runs and 44 RBI’s in 97 games.
Kelly, 26, is 2-2 with a 4.37 ERA in seven starts this season. He missed nearly three months with a hamstring injury and has struggled in his four starts since returning from the disabled list. Kelly figures to join a completely overhauled rotation in Boston, where the Red Sox will be looking for replacements for Lester, Lackey and Jake Peavy, who was traded to the San Francisco Giants last week.
As things stand now, Lackey was scheduled to start tomorrow, meaning his next start could be Wednesday night in St. Louis, against the Red Sox.