#Cubs sign Lackey to 2 year deal

The Cubs added a key piece to the rotation on Tuesday, formally announcing the signing of free agent John Lackey to a two-year, $32 million contract.

“It’s really exciting to get John,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of the addition, announced at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn.

Maddon and Lackey were first together in Anaheim, and the right-hander helped the Angels win the 2002 World Series, winning Game 7 against the Giants. Maddon quipped that the pitcher’s performance in the postseason “actually helped pay for my daughter’s wedding — I was very grateful for many years for that.”

Lackey, 37, will be slotted in behind his former Red Sox teammate Jon Lester and National League Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta. Not a bad combination.

“He’s one of the best competitors I’ve ever been around,” Maddon said. “He demands a lot on a daily basis when he plays of himself and his team, and I love it. I really believe the particular kind of edge that John provides is really going to be helpful for us moving forward. I like the idea of coming off the year we had to add this kind of personnel to the group I think it will benefit us even more. Our veterans within the group are spectacular and now you get to add John Lackey.”

Lackey was 13-10 with a career-best 2.77 ERA in 33 starts with the Cardinals last year, and finished ninth in the Cy Young voting.

“I think he’s good for us,” Maddon said. “He’s almost a perfect fit for us after the season we just had.”

— Carrie Muskat

7 Comments

some talk about the Cubs going after Zobrist. they do seem to like the familiar faces.

Aloha a.j.: I know some might be thinking why give a person in their early 30’s a 4yr contract, well for one he can play almost every position, hits from both sides of the plate, plays good defense. I could see him and Baez at second and depending on what happens with CF, Baez could also spend time out there. I think this buys time for young folks like Baez, Almora, McKinney, Torres, Wilson to see where they will fit in when some of the vets move on. Also, the FO only has had to trade Castro thus far and will receive a pretty good middle reliever who could possibly step in and start if need be. I think it possible the other player picked up from the Yankees could be flipped in another trade the FO does. They could trade for a CF or sign someone. I think the organization has made good moves and strengthened the rotation and bullpen. Now for the outfield defense! Just want to say, I wish Castro well with his new home (NY Yankees) team and that he is able to adjust quickly and have an immediate impact on them. Mahalo!

No complaints here. Knew how much Maddon loved this guy from his years with TB. Just didn’t think was plausible with the infield we had. Definitely an upgrade at the position.

Zobrist is in his middle thirties, close to 35, if memory serves, but this is a superb fit for the Cubs. It`s the Maddon connection; both the manager and Zobrist were part of the Rays at the identical time frame, 2006-2014. We commented recently that very few saw Greinke going to the Snakes; well this is very similar, meaning few saw Zobrist coming to the Cubs. Most observers thought the Mets and the Giants were most likely to land the versatile player. As for Castro, we are getting pitcher Warren in return and a `player to be named,` whom I`ve seen reported is likely to be infielder Ryan. Don`t know a lot about Warren, but have heard he`s a sinker ball pitcher who gets ground balls when at his best, and may best project as a reliever, but who can also be utilized as a `spot starter.` Did I mention I love the Zobrist signing and am ever so pleased we are shed of Starlin Castro? I do not fancy players who do not always hustle, and have it on good authority the Cubs` manager feels likewise. {We missed on Shelby Miller, as he went to the Snakes also, but hey, we can`t sign all the potential stars we covet.}

Aloha jhosk & aj, yesterday was quite a day for we fans. As my father pointed out, the trade of Castro was not so much about Warren or who they could get in return but rather making room budget wise for not only Zobrist but possible other acquisitions. Warren does help the bp or could possi start but I could see the FO pulling off another trade. Miller would have been nice but am glad the organizaton did not do a Boston to get Kimbrel. I must say the “Snakes” look mighty good on paper right now. Anyway, I give props to the organizaton for very prudent moves that not only strengthen the team today but also allows the young talent time to mature. Take care now. Mahalo!

Yes, k.g., and Warren is a more accomplished pitcher than we may have realized at first blush. He`s been more than functional over the past two seasons with the Yankees, and one of the commentators on the MLB Network today said there were times last season when Warren was the Yankees` best pitcher. The 28 year-old Warren went 7-7 with a 3.29 ERA last season in 17 starts and 26 relief appearances. Not shabby!

I`ve heard it said that Theo Epstein is not done dealing, but I`m sure most of you knew that. Just saw the NYC Channel 4 NBC Sports News and they reported Zobrist was the prized free agent the Mets wanted. Now means the Mets may want to bring back Daniel Murphy. The point I`m trying to make is `the signing of Zobrist is a major coup.` Am hoping Cubs` fans appreciate this. It`s big! I`m confident you are going to see that.

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