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VOL. 129 | NO. 149 | Friday, August 01, 2014

Cardinals Acquire Lackey in Trade

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The St. Louis Cardinals continued efforts to strengthen their starting rotation on Thursday by trading for veteran right-hander John Lackey.

The Cardinals, according to multiple media outlets, sent outfielder Allen Craig and pitcher Joe Kelly to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Lackey; St. Louis also was to receive minor-league left-hander Corey Littrell and cash considerations from Boston.

St. Louis trails National League Central leader Milwaukee by 2.5 games. The Cardinals are without injured starting pitchers Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia.

Lackey, 35, was 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA in 21 starts this season for the Red Sox. He’s a bargain, too. ESPN.com reported that Lackey will make just $500,000 in 2015 due to a clause in his five-year, $82.5 million contract that added an extra season if he had Tommy John (elbow ligament) surgery at any time during the length of the contract. Lackey had the surgery in 2011 and missed all of the 2012 season.

Lackey won the deciding game of the 2013 World Series for Boston over the Cardinals.

Craig, 30, a former Memphis Redbird, had been an All-Star in 2013 and was known as a clutch hitter. However, he was hitting just .237 at the time of the trade with seven home runs and 44 runs batted in.

Kelly, 26, missed time because of a hamstring injury and was 2-2 with a 4.37 ERA; he had pitched in Memphis for the Redbirds this season while on a rehab assignment.

On Wednesday, the Cardinals had dealt outfielder James Ramsey, who was at Double-A Springfield, to Cleveland for pitcher Justin Masterson.

After the trade of Craig and Kelly, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, @yadimolina04, took to Twitter: “Sad to see two great players, two great teammates and two great guys leave. Wish you guys the best! Hermanos!!!”

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