Cardinals exercise option to keep Lackey

As expected, the Cardinals exercised their club option Thursday on right-hander John Lackey, keeping him on board for the 2015 season.

Lackey’s unique contract structure was one of the reasons St. Louis acquired Lackey at the Trade Deadline. With Lackey, the Cardinals inherited a deal with a stipulation that locked in Lackey at the Major League minimum salary for 2015 if he missed significant time due to injury during the five-year, $82.5 million pact he signed with the Red Sox.

Lackey sat out all of the 2012 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, so that provision came into effect.

Lackey acknowledged that he would honor the last year of his contract after being dealt to St. Louis, meaning he is slated to play for a team-friendly salary of just more than $500,000 next year.

Lackey went 4-3 with a 4.15 ERA over 10 regular-season starts and two postseason starts for the Cardinals. The 36-year-old came to St. Louis in the deal that sent Allen Craig and Joe Kelly to Boston.

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