According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Chicago Cubs have signed John Lackey to a two-year, $32 million contract pending physical. The deal with Lackey is a huge signing for the Cubs after they were not able to sign David Price. The 37-year-old Lackey has pitched 12 seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals. He has also won two World Series, one with the Angels in 2002 and one with the Red Sox in 2013.
Lackey went 13-10 last season with the Cardinals and had a 2.77 ERA. He made two appearances in the National League Division Series against the Cubs, winning Game one and then taking a no decision in the series ending Game 4. Lackey threw 218 innings in 2015, his most in a season since 2007. Also, this was his first time throwing past the 200-inning mark since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2011.
Lackey is also very close friends with Jon Lester from their days when they played for the Red Sox, where they helped them win the 2013 World Series against his future team, the Cardinals. They were also central figures in the 2011 chicken-and-beer scandal in which Lester, Lackey and several other Red Sox players reportedly played video games, ate chicken wings and drank beer in the clubhouse during games in which they weren’t scheduled to pitch as the Red Sox had their historic September collapse.
As a former Red Sox executive, current Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has brought some of his pitching talent from Boston to Chicago. First he signed Lester to a six-year, $155 million deal and now he has signed Lackey. Depending on whom else the Cubs pursue this offseason; Lackey will most likely be the No. 3 spot in the rotation behind NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta and Lester. With this rotation, the Cubs should make a run in the playoffs and maybe break the curse of the billy goat once and for all.