Sox will look to discuss contract with Lackey after season

Sox will look to discuss contract with Lackey after season
July 24, 2014, 1:30 pm
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There seem to be a couple of things working against a John Lackey contract extension next offseason.

First of all, he's due to make just $500,000 next season - an obvious steal, but one justified by the fact Lackey missed an entire season due to Tommy John surgery. It was written in his last contract that if Lackey did miss a season due to a pre-existing injury, another year would be added to the deal at the end for the Major League minimum, which is $500,000.

Second of all, the Red Sox aren't in the business of handing out long-term contracts to players over 30 years old. Lackey will turn 36 in October.

But perhaps the first reason - the $500,000 - could serve as a jump-off point for a shorter extension, while paying Lackey more next season as well.

When a report came out that Lackey would consider retirement over pitching for $500,000 next season, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said back on June 19 that he did expect Lackey to pitch on that salary. But Sox CEO Larry Lucchino was asked the same question on WEEI today, and hinted that that may not have to be the case.

"I think that there will be some contract negotiations with [Lackey] probably at the end of the year as well," Lucchino said. "We'll see what our frame of mind is with respect to longer term contracts. I shouldn't say long-term but certainly longer than the one year remaining. We will explore how we can keep John Lackey as a member of the Boston Red Sox."

The Red Sox seemed hesitant to give Jon Lester a long-term deal, and he's just 30 years old - not to mention their ace. So Lackey can't expect to get anything more than a two-year extension on top of next season. That would take him to 39 years old.

Lucchino was asked earlier in the interview about the "organizational philosophy" regarding the handing out of short-term contracts over long-term contracts to players over 30 years old.

"I think it's safer to call it a philosophical presumption rather than a hard, vast policy," Lucchino said.