The Chicago Cubs have signed former St. Louis Cardinal pitcher John Lackey to a two-year, $32 Million deal. Cubs fans might remember John Lackey’s last start of the 2015 season. It was October 13th at Wrigley Field when he lasted just three innings while giving up four earned runs. Lackey received the loss and the Cubs won their first Nationals League Divisional Series series since 2003. The Cubs are now hoping Lackey will pitch like he did in the first game of that series when he lasted 7⅓ innings of two-hit baseball and did not give up a run.
Lackey is 37 years old and will be entering his 14th season in the majors. He has ties to Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer from their time with the Boston Red Sox, which means he was teammates of Jon Lester and catcher David Ross. Ross told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, “[Lester is] one of the best competitors I’ve been around, and I’m not just saying that. He is going to bring a toughness to our team that is going to make everybody better.”
Last season, Lackey finished with a career-low 2.77 ERA to go along with his 13-10 record. One downfall is that the Cubs had to give up their first-round pick (28th overall) to sign Lackey. But, signing Lakey could pay off for the Cubs if he pitches like he did last year. According to fangraphs.com, Lackey’s double play percentage was up and he finished the season with his lowest home run percentage since 2010. If he has these kinds of numbers, then Lackey will help the Cubs reach the playoffs again in 2016 as their number three starter behind Jake Arrieta and Lester.