The Red Sox are looking to send right-hander John Lackey to the Cardinals, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Boston will receive right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder/first baseman Allen Craig in the trade.
Lackey, 35, is 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA in 21 starts and 137 1/3 innings this season. He returned from Tommy John surgery last year to go 10-13 with a 3.52 ERA in 189 1/3 innings. Lackey was a key piece of the pitching staff as the Red Sox marched to the 2013 World Series title.
Lackey is under contract for only $500,000 next season thanks to a creative vesting option that was triggered by his elbow reconstruction. That dirt cheap year of control raised his trade value greatly.
The Cardinals acquired Justin Masterson from the Indians on Wednesday but, obviously, they still had concerns about their rotation due to Shelby Miller's struggles, Michael Wacha's injury and Carlos Martinez's lack of innings. They'll pair Masterson and Lackey with Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn and Miller for the time being.
Within the last week or so, the Red Sox have traded four-fifths of their Opening Day rotation in Lackey, Jake Peavy, Jon Lester and Felix Doubront.