Boston Red Sox Biggest Mistake From 2014 To The 2015 Season


The trade deadline is approaching and with that I figured why not recap on a trade the Red Sox completed this time last year. In 2014 the Red Sox found themselves in the same spot they are in today, several games under .500 and in last place. The Red Sox figured this time last year that they would sell off many of the veterans they had such as Jon Lester and Andrew Miller. However, there is one trade that was made which stands out above the rest and that was the John Lackey trade to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Many Red Sox fans believe that not resigning Jon Lester was the Red Sox biggest mistake going from 2014 to 2015. I don’t necessarily see it that way. When John Lackey was still a part of Red Sox Nation he had one year remaining on his contract and with that he was scheduled to make the league minimum of 500k. Now whether or not he would have pitched for that money or not is a different story, however, even if the Red Sox gave him a bit more money it would have been a bargain.

General Manager Ben Cherington had a new philosophy that he wanted to go by when he decided to trade Lackey, go for young pitchers that are in or are about to reach the prime of their careers. The Red Sox didn’t take into account that the pitchers they were about to acquire had never been the number one guy in a rotation. The Red Sox trading Lackey not only got rid of an established pitcher who pitched in primetime games, but it also got rid of a veteran who knew how to lead a rotation.

When the deal was made with the St. Louis Cardinals for Joe Kelly and Allen Craig, initially Red Sox fans

Jul 11, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; John Lackey (41) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

where surprised the team got great return for a 35 year old pitcher. Kelly and Craig were important pieces on a 2013 Cardinals team who made it to the World Series (eventually losing to the Red Sox in 6 games). Looking at it now, its been nothing but a failure. Joe Kelly in 25 starts with the Red Sox has posted a 4.92 ERA, 107 strikeouts and has allowed 81 runs in a total of 141.1 innings pitched. Those are not great numbers to satisfy Red Sox fans. Craig has done close to nothing as well. In his 53 games in a Red Sox uniform he has posted a .131 batting average, 2 home runs and only 4 RBI. Very far from his 2012 and 2013 seasons were he had a combined 64 homers with 189 RBI.

In St. Louis, Lackey has helped lead a rotation to being one of the best in the National League. In 30 starts as a Cardinal, Lackey has 192 innings pitched, 142 strike outs, 3.59 ERA and holds a record of 12-8. To say Lackey was out of his prime and wasn’t an effective pitcher, would not be a true statement based on what he has accomplished in St. Louis. The Red Sox should have kept John Lackey; he would have helped this young staff learn from their mistakes, but instead they are left the learn for themselves.

The Red Sox really need to find some starting pitchers who have big time experience and know how to lead a rotation. The young Sox rotation would benefit from one or two savvy veterans who have that “been there done that” mentality. For now it is a “lets wait and see” game to see what Ben Cherington’s next move will be.

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