NL Central Notes: Lackey, Brewers, Huntington

Here’s what’s happening around the NL Central…

  • John Lackey told reporters (including’s Jen Langosch) that he will honor his contract and pitch in 2015 despite the fact that he’ll only earn a minimum salary.  The fact that Lackey was traded to the contending Cardinals played a factor in his decision: “Obviously, it was case by case.  It would have been a harder decision other places, for sure, but this is definitely somewhere I wanted to be, and I’m excited about it.”
  • The Brewers checked in on such names as the PadresJoaquin Benoit, the RockiesLaTroy Hawkins and the DiamondbacksAddison Reed and Brad Ziegler yet came up short in their hunt for a right-handed reliever, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (Twitter link).  Earlier today, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported that the Crew were one of the finalists to obtain a notable lefty reliever in Andrew Miller.
  • Pirates GM Neal Huntington discussed his team’s lack of trade activity, telling reporters (including’s Tom Singer) that “we identified potential fits, wanted to add and worked hard to. At the end of the day, we weren’t able to push anything across the line….It was interesting, in that the majority of impact players went for Major League talent instead of teams trying to grab the best prospects they can, as has been the case in recent years.”  Since Pittsburgh was connected to Jon Lester and David Price, Singer speculates that Huntington was perhaps willing to move young prospects for these aces but couldn’t outbid the A’s and Tigers’ respective offers, both of which included established players.

16 Responses to NL Central Notes: Lackey, Brewers, Huntington Leave a Reply

  1. Bob George 11 months ago

    And what choice did Lackey have other than honoring the contract he signed? Retiring? Sitting out a year? Wouldn’t he still be under contract if he sat out a year?

    • start_wearing_purple 11 months ago

      He could technically retire for a year and refile paperwork to be a FA in 2016. The rumor in Boston was he was threatening to retire unless he received an extension offer.

      • Karkat 11 months ago

        It’s not that cut and dry. I can never find the relevant rules when I need them, but players can’t just circumvent contracts that easily.

        • start_wearing_purple 11 months ago

          I don’t remember the exact rule but I recall reading if a player retires they can’t refile for FA for 1 year.

          • godewey 11 months ago

            For what its worth , it looks like a player can do it. It doesn’t
            sound that easy. It looks like a whole process. It also looks like
            the team has to do most of the work. I read it 5 times and
            and still don’t completely understand it.

          • start_wearing_purple 11 months ago

            Thank you.

            Though I do have a feeling that if Lackey were to retire and attempt to return many teams would be either wary to sign him or would use his recent behavior as a way to sign him for less than his potential worth due to what they might consider negotiating in bad faith. That said, I would not be surprised to see Lackey attempt to extort the Cardinals for an extension.

          • godewey 11 months ago

            I don’t think he would either, but i’m sure his agent might
            casually bring up an extension in conversation. It will be interesting to see what happens next season when all the Cards pitchers come back. Maybe a sign and trade, that would depend on what they do in the off season.

        • godewey 11 months ago

          Still trying to figure it out.
          page 177 of the basic agreement on MLB

        • It isn’t. I looked it up a few months ago. The Sox basically have rights to Lackey if he chose to retire and come back. I’m not 100% sure that he can’t try to get a different contract, but the Sox would have final say on whether he got to leave.

      • NickinIthaca 11 months ago

        This situation makes me think of the guy from that Knuckleball Challenge TV show – he was drafted by the Marlins, and although he retired from professional baseball years ago, the Marlins said that if he made the D-Backs, there would be discussions about trading his rights to the Diamondbacks.

        Although I know Lackey is in a different situation, having been in the league long enough to earn his free agency, I find it ridiculous that he would be able to circumvent his contract that easily.

        If that is the case though (and if Lackey went through with retiring, and un retiring), does anyone think that teams will find contract verbage to prevent that from happening? As opposed to saying the contract runs from 2010-2015, perhaps saying the contract runs for 6 seasons played?

    • Bob Bunker 11 months ago

      Sounds like Lackey told Boston I’m not playing at 500 K for this next so trade me, extend me, or I’m retiring. Doubt he could have retired and then came back because Red Sox FO would file complaint so fast.

  2. Steve Corbett 11 months ago

    So Lackey is saying that he pretty much wanted out of Boston? Oooooh…..stabby stab!

  3. Red_Line_9 11 months ago

    Maybe teams are waking up to the latest inefficiency in the player market. Prospects have been slightly overrated by and large. KC has been noted for their wonderful system for years. Very little has made big impact at the mlb level. Hosmer hasn’t even panned out yet.

  4. Jeffy25 11 months ago

    I can see the cards replacing lackey’s 2015 with a 2 year contract.

    Maybe 6 million in each season (15 and 16).

    Although, the rotation is pretty filled up in 15 and 16

    • stl_cards16 11 months ago

      We also thought it was going to be filled in 2014. Wainwright, Lackey, Lynn, Wacha, Martinez, Miller for 2015 looks good to me. By 2016 you’d think one of Coony/Gonzales would be ready for a rotation spot full-time with Kaminsky and Reyes possibly ready to contribute. I think they let Lackey’s contract play out.

  5. Mike1L 11 months ago

    We don’t know what Lackey told the Red Sox about his contract status, if anything, but we do know he’s made over $100M in his career, and he will be 36 next year. If the Sox had swapped him to a city where he just didn’t want to play, I wouldn’t necessarily blame him for retiring. Going to St. Louis, in a competitive atmosphere and a great baseball town, is enough inducement to want to stay in. If St. Louis uses their leverage to turn this into a decent two year contract, he can be traded again.

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