Updates from Thursday, July 31
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the St. Louis Cardinals have landed John Lackey:
Earlier, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports ruled one team out of the race:
Gordon Edes of ESPN reported on Lackey's suitors and the chances of him being traded:
Updates from Wednesday, July 30
Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reported on trade talks between the Marlins and Red Sox:
Earlier, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported John Lackey may be moved before the deadline:
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported on the chances that Lackey is moved along with teammate Jon Lester before Thursday's deadline:
Updates from Tuesday, July 29
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported on an added dynamic in trade talks for John Lackey:
With a minuscule 2.9 percent chance of making the playoffs, per FanGraphs, the Boston Red Sox are in an unfamiliar position as sellers this summer.
They've already shipped Jake Peavy to the San Francisco Giants, and the rest of the rotation seems just as expendable. Jon Lester's name began floating around in Matt Kemp talks, per Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com, and now John Lackey is also receiving a lot of interest.
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal has the most recent buzz:
Lackey, 35, has been rock solid this season. Continuing to build off of a terrific 2013 campaign that saw him show few ill-effects from Tommy John surgery, he sports a 3.60 ERA and 1.23 WHIP through 137.1 innings. He's 11-7 on the year with 116 strikeouts.
What is perhaps even more tantalizing than his work on the mound, though, is his contract.
When Lackey signed his five-year, $82.5 million deal in 2010, a unique injury clause was built in, stating that if he missed significant time with an elbow injury, the Sox would receive a club option at the major league minimum salary for 2015.
So, with Lackey, not only does a team get a dependable veteran starter who has 16 postseason starts and two World Series-clinching victories (2002, 2013) under his belt, but it also gets a player who provides tremendous financial flexibility for next season.
It's unclear which teams have inquired about the right-hander, but it's not exactly surprising Boston is "getting hit hard" with calls.
The Sox shouldn't be rushing to move a player who will come at such a bargain in 2015, but with a thin pitcher's market and so many teams right on the brink of contention, a bidding war could cause his price to increase.
Should that happen, don't be surprised if Lackey is donning a new uniform sometime in the next couple of days. Ben Cherington has already proved he's not afraid of a fire sale.