Jul 5, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey (41) walks to the dugout after being relieved during the sixth inning in game two against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals Land Lackey, Lose Kelly and Craig

The St. Louis Cardinals have landed Red Sox veteran John Lackey just a few hours before the trade deadline. Lackey has been an undervalued starter this season while going 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA. With lefty Jon Lester moving to Oakland earlier in the day, it was close to a sure thing that Lackey would also be traded. Lackey has pitched well in his last two seasons with Boston after struggling mightily in his first two seasons with the Sox after signing 5yr/$82.5 million deal. Lacking has a vesting option for 2015 and could be brought back at a discounted price if all goes well with the Cardinals this season.

In return, the Red Sox will receive starting pitche Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig from the Cardinals. Craig has struggled ahead of rookie Oscar Taveras, and with him out of the picture, Taveras will be able to play every day. Kelly has struggled since returning from a hamstring injury that forced him to miss most of the season.

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With last nights five inning performance from Joe Kelly, the Cardinals rotation again went without a quality start. Outside of Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn, the Cardinals rotation has gone past six innings just once since Michael Wacha went down with an injury.

With the uncertainty of a Wacha return, the Cardinals felt that they needed to add innings to their rotation in order to stay in contention and save their bullpen arms. The additions of Justin Masterson and John Lackey should add great depth to the rotation and give rookie Carlos Martinez time to grow into a starting role.  With room in right field now being opened for Oscar Taveras, it will be interesting to see how the Cardinals offense progresses for the rest of the season.

Tags: Allen Craig Joe Kelly John Lackey St. Louis Cardinals Trade Deadline

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