Starting Pitcher John Lackey Gets Unexpected Qualifying Offer From St. Louis Cardinals

John Lackey has received a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer to return with the St. Louis Cardinals for the 2016 season, the team announced. 

This offer was expected because Lackey is a 37-year-old and should not find himself with any more than a two-year contract if he tests the market. 

Since Lackey will not find a huge offseason contract, he might accept the qualifying offer. As a matter of fact, St. Louis will be fine with him accepting because it would help with a rotation that is already dominant. 

When ace Adam Wainwright went down with an injury that kept him out for most the season, Lackey stepped up and became a huge storyline. 

While inducing a Major League leading 29 double plays, Lackey made 33 starts. He finished 13-10 with a 2.77 ERA, which is very dominant for a pitche of his age. He pitched Game 1 and Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs and went 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA. The win was Lackey's eighth postseason victory over the 13-year career. 

Over his career, the righty has played for the Los Angeles Angles (2002-2009), the Boston Red Sox (2010-2014) and the Cardinals (2014-2015). He was origionally drafted by the Angels in the second round of the 1999 MLB Draft. 

Lackey's best season was in 2007, as he was with the Los Angeles. At 28 years old, Lackey went 19-9 with an MLB-leading 3.01 ERA and two complete game shutouts over 33 games, all starts. 

Lackey has until November 13 to either accept or decline the one-year offer from the Cardinals. The right-hander is not expected to accept the offer, which would give the Cardinals a draft pick if he signs elsewhere this winter. However, it would not be crazy to note that there is a slight chance Lackey accepts.