Cubs and RHP John Lackey agree on two-year deal

JohnLackey(Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

The Chicago Cubs and right-handed pitcher John Lackey have agreed to terms on a two-year contract through the 2017 season.

Lackey, 37, went 13-10 with a career-best 2.77 ERA (67 ER/218.0 IP) in 33 starts with the St. Louis Cardinals last year, his 13th major league campaign. He finished ninth in Cy Young Award voting after matching his career high in starts, and his 218.0 innings pitched were second-most in his career (highest since his career-best 224.0 innings in 2007). Lackey ranked seventh in the National League in ERA, as he now joins a starting rotation for next season featuring three of the top 15 ERAs in the NL from 2015 (Jake Arrieta, second at 1.77; Jon Lester, 15th at 3.34).

The 6-foot-6, 235-pound Lackey is 165-127 with 18 complete games, eight shutouts and a 3.92 ERA in 388 major league games, all but one as a starter, with the Angels (2002-09), Red Sox (2010-11 and 13-14) and Cardinals (2014-15). His 2,481.1 innings pitched since the start of the 2002 campaign are fourth-most in the majors while his 165 victories and 387 starts both rank fifth, and his 1,965 strikeouts rank sixth.

Lackey has 12 double-digit win seasons since 2003, second-most in the majors behind only Mark Buehrle (13), and has posted 10 or more wins in every full season he has pitched since 2003. Lackey has reached the 200-inning mark six times, including 218.0 innings last season, and has made 31 or more starts in a season eight times.

The right-hander owns an 8-5 record with a 3.11 ERA (44 ER/127.1 IP) in 23 career postseason games, including 20 starts. His eight postseason victories are second-most among active pitchers, trailing only CC Sabathia’s nine victories. Lackey went 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA in two NLDS outings vs. the Cubs.

In 2013, Lackey went 10-13 with a 3.52 ERA in 29 starts for the World Champion Red Sox after missing the previous campaign recovering from Tommy John surgery performed in November of 2011. He went 3-1 with a 2.77 ERA in five postseason games (four starts) during the club’s World Series run.

Named an American League All-Star in 2007, Lackey set career marks with 19 wins and 224.0 innings pitched for the Angels. He led the AL with a 3.01 ERA that season en route to a third-place finish in the AL Cy Young vote. The 2007 campaign also marked his fifth-straight with at least 32 starts.

Lackey made his major league debut with the Angels in 2002, going 9-4 with a complete game and a 3.66 ERA in 18 starts before he went 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA in five postseason outings (three starts). He won Game 7 of the World Series against the San Francisco Giants on three days rest, becoming the first rookie pitcher to win a World Series Game 7 since Pittsburgh’s Babe Adams in 1909.

A native of Abilene, Texas, Lackey was originally selected by the Angels in the second round of the 1999 draft out of Grayson County College in Denison, Texas.

Chicago’s 40-man roster now stands at 38 players.

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