It sounds like Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington is digging in when it comes to the question of John Lackey's contract situation.
In an appearance on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan Show Thursday morning, Cherington was asked if he envisions any scenario in which Lackey pitches for the Red Sox in 2015 while earning the major league minimum amount of $500,000.
"Certainly, yeah," Cherington said. "I think that it's just a function of the times we live in that just how much time and space there is to talk about these things. My feeling about John is that he's a outstanding competitor, outstanding teammate, he's been an excellent pitcher and a huge part of our success last year and he's been outstanding this year and given the way he's pitching, and given what I know of him as a competitor and as a teammate, how much he likes being in a clubhouse, playing this game and competing, I would expect he's gonna want to continue doing that and, the contract is the contract and we agreed to a contract back in 2010 whenever it was and you know when you agree to a contract, both sides venture into it and so we... there's really not that much more to say about it. We're glad he's with us and we expect him to come in and continue pitching next year."
The Red Sox have a club option in their deal with Lackey that calls for him to be paid at the major league minimum salary because he missed all of the 2012 season due to Tommy John surgery for what was deemed a pre-existing elbow injury. Back in 2010, the Red Sox and Lackey agreed to a five-year, $82.5 million deal with the conditional club option for the 2015 season.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported recently that Lackey would consider retiring after this season vs. playing for $500,000 minimum next season.
After throwing nine scoreless innings against the Twins Wednesday, Lackey is now 8-4 with a 2.96 ERA.