Did John Lackey want out of Boston? In an an interview with WEEI on Thursday, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington wouldn't say if the trade of the veteran pitcher to the St. Louis Cardinals at the deadline last week was prompted by a request for a deal by Lackey.
Cherington's did say Lackey's "unique contract" made him a valuable commodity. Lackey is scheduled to make $500,000 next season in the last year of his current contract. He assured the Cardinals he would honor that. Interviewed in St. Louis this week, Lackey wasn't ready to say he'd make the same assurance had he stayed in Boston.
"Most of what led to [the trade] is he's a really good pitcher who is on a unique contract and that made him really valuable to a team like the Cardinals," Cherington said on the Dennis and Callahan show Thursday morning. "We wouldn't have traded both Lackey and [Jon] Lester without getting A) major league talent back and B) a major league starter back [in this case, Joe Kelly]. I think John is happy where he is and we wish him well."
Pressed about whether Lackey had asked to be traded or forced the team's hand by balking at playing for $500,000 next season, Cherington said, "Look, I'm not going to get into every conversation I had with John Lackey . . . We’re all getting new information, and you get new information every day. I think John is happy where he is, and we wish him well. He did great things for us, certainly towards the end of the deal. He was on the mound for the clinching World Series game. I certainly hope that Red Sox fans and everyone around Boston’s sort of lasting memory of John Lackey is helping us win a World Series. That will be what mine is.”