Lackey Signing Could Elavate Cubbies into World Series

Just hours before the D-backs shocked the world, the Cubbies made arguably the most underrated move of the offseason thus far. On Friday night, John Lackey agreed to terms with Chicago to become the #3 starter in the rotation for 2 years, receiving a total of $32 million. After heavy early winter rumors of the Cubs going after David Price, Lackey is a huge downgrade, but is he really?

The 36-year-old is coming off of one of his best campaigns, compiling a record of 13-10 with an incredibly low ERA of 2.77 in 218 innings of work with the Cardinals. Looking over his career numbers, anyone can see that he has put up solid #3 type stats his whole career, but in 2014-2015, he took it to another level. His WAA (pitcher’s WAR) was a 3.9, the second highest of his career. Lackey is not dazzling, but he is a work horse, who just went over 200 innings at 36 years of age. He may have been a #1 a few times for the Angels back in his day, but sitting behind Arrieta and Lester, being a leader, showing up in the clutch during the postseason, is what the Cubs are paying for.

Lackey pitched and won a ring at 23-years-old with the Halos, then again, 11 seasons later with the Sox. Overall in the postseason, John has a record of 8-5 with a 3.11 ERA in 127 innings. Having a lethal #3 guy in the postseason who could be equal to the #1 and #2, is a huge leg up. Having one dangerous pitcher to lead the way in the playoffs is one thing, but to have two, is unheard of. Chicago already has Lester, who has a World Series ERA of 0.43 with two rings, but in 2013 when Boston won the Fall Classic, guess what teammate was a big help? John Lackey. Not having the pressure of being an ace will give Lackey time to be a veteran leader in the clubhouse to the youngsters, as John was a big brother figure to Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver back in Anaheim some time ago.

$16 million a year may be pushing it a little, but its only for two seasons, and its better than spending $217 million on a pitcher that was not needed. After winning 97 games and making it to the NLCS, the best thing the Cubbies can do, is gain more experience. Lackey is the perfect bridge over the gap in the Cubs rotation, plus more.


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