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John Lackey Traded to the St. Louis Cardinals


Will there be anyone left to pitch against the Yankees this weekend?

Peavy? Gone. Doubront? Gone. Lester? Gone. And now it appears Red Sox righthander John Lackey is heading out of town today.

The Red Sox have made it official, Lackey is heading to the St. Louis Cardinals. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports was the first to report the deal.

Peter Gammons is reporting that infielder/outfielder Allen Craig and pitcher Joe Kelly will be coming to the Red Sox in the Lackey deal.

The 30-year-old Craig was an All-Star in 2013 -- batting .315 with 13 homers and 97 RBIs in 134 games -- but he's been struggling badly this season, batting just .237 with 7 homers and 44 RBIs in 97 games in 2014.

“What’s going on is that this isn’t the player I am," Craig told the Post Dispatch this week. "It’s just a period. It’s just a period of my career and I have to ride it out and figure out what’s going on and just get better from it. It’s not who I am. … I just feel like in my mind this season hasn’t gone how I would like to this point. There is a lot of good ball to be played. I will stay positive.”

Craig signed a five-year, $31 million contract before the start of the 2013 season. Craig's contract calls for him to earn $5.5 million in 2015, $9 million in 2016, $11 million in 2017, with a $13 million club option for the 2018 season.

Craig had a serious foot injury that limited him in the postseason and World Series against the Red Sox and many believe that situation continues to bother him.

The 26-year-old Kelly is a righthanded pitcher who started seven games for the Cardinals this season. He's 2-2 with a 4.37 ERA. In his three year career in St. Louis, he's 17-14 with a 3.25 ERA. His best season was in 2013 when he went 10-5 with a 2.69 ERA.

Kelly started Game 3 of the 2013 World Series against the Red Sox in St. Louis, but was not involved in the decision. In that game, you may recall the Cards won 3-2 in the ninth inning when Allen Craig scored the winning run on an obstruction call on Will Middlebrooks. Kelly was effective in the start, going 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on two hits, with three walks, and six strikeouts.

Lackey signed with the Red Sox as a free agent before the start of the 2010 season when he signed a five-year $82.5 million deal with Boston. He missed all of 2012 with Tommy John elbow surgery, but bounced back to help lead the Red Sox to a World Series title in 2013. He went 10-13 with a 3.52 ERA in his comeback last season, and was 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA this season with the Red Sox.

Lackey's contract calls for him to make the major league minimum of $500,000 next season.

The Red Sox will also part with minor league lefthander Corey Littrell along with cash considerations to complete the deal.

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