Updates from Thursday, July 31
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the St. Louis Cardinals have landed John Lackey:
Cards getting lackey— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 31, 2014
Earlier, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports ruled one team out of the race:
Source: #Dodgers not getting Lackey.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2014
Gordon Edes of ESPN reported on Lackey's suitors and the chances of him being traded:
Sox close to deal for Lackey with NL team. Either Cardinals or Dodgers— Gordon Edes (@GordonEdes) July 31, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, July 30
Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reported on trade talks between the Marlins and Red Sox:
Red Sox and Marlins had a few chats on Lester/Lackey. The Red Sox inquired about Yelich. Could be a prelude to deeper talks in offseason— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) July 30, 2014
Earlier, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported John Lackey may be moved before the deadline:
Sources: Marlins and Red Sox are discussing a possible John Lackey trade. @FOXSports1— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 30, 2014
Royals inquired to Red Sox about John Lackey, but it appeared earlier today that KC was unlikely to meet the high asking price.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 30, 2014
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported on the chances that Lackey is moved along with teammate Jon Lester before Thursday's deadline:
Source: “Very good chance” that #RedSox trade Lackey along with Lester.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2014
To be clear: Source not saying #RedSox will move Lester and Lackey in the same deal. Just saying “very good chance” both will be traded.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, July 29
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported on an added dynamic in trade talks for John Lackey:
Possible dynamic in #RedSox talks: Lester, Lackey are close. Lackey may not want to play for $500K in ’15 or sign extensn if Lester is gone.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 29, 2014
With a minuscule 2.9 percent chance of making the playoffs, per FanGraphs, the Boston Red Sox are in an unfamiliar position as sellers this summer.
They've already shipped Jake Peavy to the San Francisco Giants, and the rest of the rotation seems just as expendable. Jon Lester's name began floating around in Matt Kemp talks, per Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com, and now John Lackey is also receiving a lot of interest.
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal has the most recent buzz:
Sources: #RedSox getting “hit hard” on both Lester and Lackey from most contenders, including AL East clubs.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 28, 2014
Source: #RedSox open to trading BOTH Lester and Lackey for right returns.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 29, 2014
Maybe it goes without saying, but sources say the #Dodgers are investigating every top available starter - Price, Lester, Hamels, Lackey.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 29, 2014
Lackey, 35, has been rock solid this season. Continuing to build off of a terrific 2013 campaign that saw him show few ill-effects from Tommy John surgery, he sports a 3.60 ERA and 1.23 WHIP through 137.1 innings. He's 11-7 on the year with 116 strikeouts.
What is perhaps even more tantalizing than his work on the mound, though, is his contract.
When Lackey signed his five-year, $82.5 million deal in 2010, a unique injury clause was built in, stating that if he missed significant time with an elbow injury, the Sox would receive a club option at the major league minimum salary for 2015.
So, with Lackey, not only does a team get a dependable veteran starter who has 16 postseason starts and two World Series-clinching victories (2002, 2013) under his belt, but it also gets a player who provides tremendous financial flexibility for next season.
Should the Red Sox trade John Lackey?
It's unclear which teams have inquired about the right-hander, but it's not exactly surprising Boston is "getting hit hard" with calls.
The Sox shouldn't be rushing to move a player who will come at such a bargain in 2015, but with a thin pitcher's market and so many teams right on the brink of contention, a bidding war could cause his price to increase.
Should that happen, don't be surprised if Lackey is donning a new uniform sometime in the next couple of days. Ben Cherington has already proved he's not afraid of a fire sale.