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John Lackey intends to honor contract and pitch at major league minimum salary in 2015

Aug 1, 2014, 9:27 PM EDT

John Lackey AP AP

The Cardinals acquired right-hander John Lackey from the Red Sox yesterday in exchange for outfielder/first baseman Allen Craig and right-hander Joe Kelly. While they paid a premium in order to land him, it’s impossible to look at this deal without taking Lackey’s contract into account.

When the Red Sox signed Lackey to a five-year, $82.5 million contract in December of 2009, they put a clause into the deal which specified that a club option for 2015 at the major league minimum salary ($500,000) would be added if he missed significant time with an elbow injury. That option was triggered after he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011.

There’s been some speculation that Lackey would retire rather than play at the major league minimum next year or perhaps try to negotiate his deal, but he told reporters upon his arrival in St. Louis today that he intends to honor his contract.

Since his return from Tommy John surgery, Lackey has posted a 3.55 ERA over 50 starts while averaging 7.6 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9. Now you can see why the Cardinals paid a big price with Craig and Kelly. Not only did they acquire a good pitcher, they got a tremendous value.

  1. drewsylvania - Aug 2, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Lackey is a professional jerkwad. Very glad he’s gone.

  2. djpostl - Aug 2, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    So inother words, if they had traded him spmewhere else he would have a been a douchenozzle and not honored a legally binding agreement he had entered into.

    Can we stop acting like he’s anything more than a twunt now?

    Dude had zero problem signing the deal, a deal he was grossly overpaid for btw, which had that clause. The inkury occurred, the option kicked in and he should have never even thought about not honoring it…but there he was doing just that.

    In other words, dude is an asshat.

    • genericcommenter - Aug 2, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      Retiring would not have been a “douchenozzle” move. He could end the contract, and just not get paid.

      • djpostl - Aug 2, 2014 at 6:03 PM

        If said retirement was solely because he was pissed about having to pitch for 500K I beg to differ.

    • tfbuckfutter - Aug 2, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      I still maintain it’s not a good clause to have in the contract to begin with, but for it to really work properly it should have applied to the year following the injury, not been tacked on to the end.

      So basically if he wanted all of his money he’d have been forced to honor the terms, or lose out on $33,500,000 over 3 seasons instead of $500,000 over 1 (of course that all becomes moot if he misses the 5th year instead of 1 of the first 4).

      • djpostl - Aug 2, 2014 at 6:06 PM

        Agreed, makes much more sense to slap that price tag on the following season but I don’t know if they’d be bale to pull it off logistically or if that would even be allowed.

        In the end though I stand by the thought that if he signed the deal with that clause and suddenly was debating not honoring it after he had zero problem getting paid while he was sitting on the DL for all that time then he’s a douchenozzle lol.

    • slappymcknucklepunch - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:00 AM

      I agree his is a twunt.How I love this new word.

      Twunt,twunt,twunt… love it.

      Censor evadingly awesome,however my wife would kill me if I ever utter it,hmm…maybe if I just mutter it with a smile when she has me do the honey do list

  3. rangermania - Aug 3, 2014 at 2:23 AM

    Lackey is an honorable man which is scarce in professional sports athletes and in so doing he may still be earning more than he’s worth.

  4. danfrommv - Aug 4, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Why not run 100s of stories to the effect that honor a contract to pay despite the fact they haven’t performed to that level? For example: Angels honor contract to pay Vernon Wells $25M even though he can’t hit a damn baseball. This is no great act of heroism on the part of Lackey.

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