Per @Ken_Rosenthal, the Chicago Cubs have reportedly signed RHP John Lackey to a two year deal worth 32-34 million. Lackey, former teammate of Cubs starter Jon Lester and catcher David Ross says he has been persuaded all summer by the two to have a reunion in Chicago. Lackey went 13-10 with a 3.89 ERA last year while pitching for a Cardinals team that won 100 games, but was knocked out by the Cubs.
In the 4 game series vs the Cubs, Lackey pitched a dominant game 1, throwing 7 1/3 shut out innings, giving up only 2 hits. He completely had the Cubs confused, striking out 5 while having a no-hitter going through 5 innings. Lackey also came back on 3-days rest to face the Cubs in game 4 in Chicago with the Cardinals down 2-1 and their season on the line. Lackey didn’t fare as well in that one, only going 3 innings while giving up 4 earned runs, including a RBI single by opposing starter Jason Hamell and a 3 run go a head bomb to right centerfield by SS Javier Baez. The Cubs went on to win the game 6-4 and win the series 3-1.
The Cubs were looking for an innings eater to help back the back end of their rotation, and they got exactly that in signing Lackey. The Cubs can now attack bats in the free agency market, with Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist both being high targets on the Cubs radar. Expect them to get a young controllable starter via the trade, which could see the likes of RF Jorge Soler or 2B Starling Castro in a different uniform come next spring.