Cubs sign John Lackey to 2y/$32M deal

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays



There are pros and cons to this.  I’m still in the process of processing.

He’s apparently approaching Papelbonian levels of DHS (DoucheHammer Syndrome)…but this also feels like a better option than signing Samardzija to a long-ass $100M+ deal.

ScoutsEdit: Lackey went 13-10 with a 2.77 ERA, 175 SO in 218 Innings, with a 3.77 FIP, a 143 ERA+, and a 1.211 WHIP for the Cardinals last season.  He should slot in the three spot in the rotation behind former teammate Jon Lester and last year’s CY-Young winner Jake Arrieta.


26 thoughts on “Cubs sign John Lackey to 2y/$32M deal

  1. Yeah, the shortness of the deal is a plus. He’s “only” at about 600 IP since his TJS, so he should be fine for 2 more years (at least, the UCL should be). I doubt he’ll match last year’s LOB luck, but he’s a solid and durable rotation piece….and getting 200 league averagish innings from a starter is pretty dang valuable.

    He won’t field his position for crap, he can’t hit or run, but he’ll take the ball every 5th day.

    I wouldn’t have been upset if the Cards signed him to that kind of deal…but I’m also not upset that the Cubs are giving up their 1st rounder and the Cards are adding a pick (and both of their picks move up a spot).


    1. He definitely won’t be a 3.6 fWAR guy again, but if he can split the gap between that and his 2.4 fWAR in ’13 and ’14 and settle in somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 fWAR…I reckon I’ll be fine with that from a mid-rotation starter.

      I suspect they could have signed him for a bit less in terms of AAV if they had tacked a 3rd year on to the deal….but there’s no reason to make that long of a commitment here.

      As for the draft pick, I’m not so worried about that. They’ve been pretty aggressive in the international markets, so losing that pick shouldn’t hurt too bad. Besides, we’ll get one back when Fowler lands somewhere.

      I do wonder if this is pretty much the end of the shopping for starters. Arrieta/Lester/Hendricks/Lackey/Hammel wouldn’t be a bad rotation at all, and it would let us keep all those wonderful young cost-controlled bats (Javy Baez is going to start getting some time in CF during winter ball).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It seems to me that if what the Cubs want is available for just money…they should save the valuable assets to trade for things that are not available for just money….or for a time when needs arise and trades are the only option.

        Right now, it seems to me, that spending money and keeping talent is what they should be doing.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes, I’ll take the comp pick, too, and willingly take it away from the Cubs.

      B-Ref projects 1.27 WHIP, 3.1 K/SO next year, both down from 2015. Steamer, with different advanced stats, has roughly the same projections. Steamer does say his LOB will go down about 7 percentage points next year. Both project 190 innings.


        1. The second one. Duh. 🙂

          I don’t think they are really interested in him at that price. But you never know.

          I have no idea what the hell happened to him last year in Chicago….GB rate plummeted, k-rate plummeted…a lot of his issue was likely having a horrible defense behind him and being in a hitters park….but not all of it.

          Looking at his potential, if he got back to his 2011-2014 form, he’s probably worth more/year than Lackey…and probably for a couple of more years (as he’s 6 years younger)….I mean, if I was given the option of Lackey or Shark for 2 years and $32M, I’d take Samardjia in a second because of the upside and relative youth….but the years would worry me….though, I guess they shouldn’t, he’s been very durable.

          I guess, really….if they sign him, I probably won’t like it, but it’ll likely turn out better than I expect just looking at last years numbers.


        2. I’d take Shark at something like 4y/$75M over Lackey at 2y/$32…which I think is kinda where the Cubs’ thinking was as well.

          But when Shark started talking about $100M, Theo said fuck that noise and grabbed Lackey instead.


        3. Agreed….I’d go to 5/$90M…that age 31-35 seasons at $18M per….which isn’t bad if he could recover his previous K-rate…Brooks shows that he hasn’t lost his stuff yet.

          Like I said, weird stuff was happening with him last year with the White Sox….not sure if it was bad coaching, bad game calling, injury, or what.


        4. I think I’d rather have 2 years of Lackey, even if they are his 80-81 age years, than 5 years of Shark. That’s just too much of a time commitment to a guy with that many question marks. Even if Lackey shits the bed, it’ll be over quickly.


        5. In the end, I just can’t imagine the Cardinals being the highest bidder on him…and he is definitely going to the highest bidder….unless he was just full of bluster the last 3 years.


      1. Of FA starters left, if Buehrle is available at 80-85 cents on the Lackey dollar, I’ll definitely take him first. I’d also kick the tires on Kennedy first. And Chen. And probably others.


        1. Ian Kennedy is not good. Buehrle walks the edge of a knife. I’d rather get someone with the potential to be good rather than a guy that may be a 0.5 win upgrade over Cooney.


        2. No, Kennedy’s not good … but less risk than a big overpay for Shark. I’m not that big a fan of his 2011-14, even. And, of course, kicking tires doesn’t mean buying. It all depends on what the price tag is.

          Besides, the Cards don’t really need any addition for more than a 2-year contract (which says Buehrle as much as any of those). Chen is definitely better than Kennedy, but hasn’t drawn much noise yet. I’d pay him what Shark is reportedly asking right now rather than pay Shark that much.


      2. Paper/Longfoot –

        So first off, I agree with you guys on this generally speaking. I think this was a decent deal for the Cubs, and that Sam will be overpaid and not great especially in the second half of his deal. But let me play a little devil’s advocate..

        How do teams grow payroll? One of the primary way of growing payroll is to win a lot, and ideally reach the postseason consistently. This results in higher revenue from several sources. Which pitcher will be the better pitcher over the next two seasons, probably by a reasonable amount? Which one gives them the best chance of reaching the postseason and reaping those financial rewards? And ultimately, which one will help them afford to reload as they and others become ineffective?

        Maybe the last three years of Sam would be an albatross. But perhaps the first two years will more than counter that contract just on the difference between him and Lackey.

        Just a thought.


        1. I agree. If Samardzija had been similar last year to previous years, I don’t think teams would hesitate to approach a 5/$100M deal. I mean, over the next 5 years, I actually expect him to be similar to Zimmerman, with a better chance of staying healthy. The fact that teams may be offering him $90 may indicate that they saw the changes that happened with the White Sox and think they can undo whatever they did that led to the huge decline in Ks and GBs.


  2. Lackey’s way past Papelbon. Paps is a major d-bag on the field, but Lackey divorced his wife while she was fight breast cancer. Fuck that guy.


    1. Jeez. I didn’t realize that DoucheHammer was a compliment.

      I hate having shitboxes on my team. How I am supposed to root for someone that does that?


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