Fresh off the Red Sox trading one two-time World Series-winning pitcher, Boston has dealt another one.
John Lackey has been sent to the Cardinals, both clubs have confirmed. The deal was first reported by CBS' Jon Heyman and ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes.
MLB Network's Peter Gammons reports that first baseman/rightfielder Allen Craig and righthanded pitcher Joe Kelly will be going to Boston. WEEI's Alex Speier tweets that minor-league lefthander Corey Littrell will be sent to St. Louis. Littrell was selected by the Red Sox in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He has a 3.60 ERA in 100 innings for Boston's Class-A advanced affiliate.
Lackey, a 35-year-old righthander, won world titles with the Angels in 2002 and the Red Sox in 2013. He is signed for $500,000 in 2015, due to an unusual injury related clause in the contract he signed with Boston before the 2010 season. Many observers expect that deal to be renegotiated at some point.
Lackey has a 3.56 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 137.1 innings this season. He's never pitched in the National League.
Craig, 30, is signed through the 2017 season for a total of $25.5 million and has a $13-million option for 2018. He batted .312 with a .364 OBP and .500 slugging percentage from 2011-13, but is having a down year this season with just a .638 OPS.
Kelly, 26, has a 3.25 ERA in 68 games (38 starts) since 2012. He has a 4.37 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in seven starts this season and won't be arbitration eligible until 2016.
The Red Sox traded Jon Lester to the Athletics earlier Thursday and have also traded Jake Peavy. Their current rotation likely will be Clay Buchholz, Rubby De La Rosa, Brandon Workman, Allan Webster and Joe Kelly. In the short term, that should help the Yankees, who play three games against the Sox this weekend.
Had the Red Sox not made Thursday's flurry of moves, the Yankees likely would have faced Lester, Lackey and Buccholz at Fenway. Now they'll probably face a minor league call-up, Allen Webster and Buchholz.
But the Red Sox lineup appears much-improved for the 2015 season. A dreadful outfield this season has been upgraded with the additions of Yoenis Cespedes in left and, now, Craig in right to compete with corner holdovers Daniel Nava and Shane Victorino and centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
The Cardinals, who traded for Justin Masterson on Wednesday, now have Masterson, Lackey and Adam Wainwright to front the rotation. Lance Lynn, Michael Wacha (if he can get healthy), Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez can fill the other two spots.