The 35 year old Lackey was 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA for Boston this year. He will help bolster a Cardinal rotation that already added Justin Masterson earlier this week.
So what impact will this have on your fantasy team(s)?
Lackey is universally owned anyway, but could be an intriguing trade target for your team. Heading to the NL Central from the beast the is the AL East should only help his numbers. While I wouldn’t expect a dramatic decrease in ERA, I wouldn’t be surprised if he kept it in the very low 3’s with his new team.
The veteran will likely bump Carlos Martinez back to the bullpen, which is disastrous for his value, which was not much to begin with. Martinez can be dropped in all redraft leagues.
As for the pieces heading for Boston, Joe Kelly will likely take the rotation spot vacated by Lackey. Kelly was 2-2 with a 4.37 ERA in five starts for the Cardinals this year.
Starting Kelly on your team will likely be a game of Russian Roulette. He has the talent, but pitching in the AL East will not help him until he becomes more consistent. For those of you in deeper leagues, monitor Kelly’s matchups closely, and bench him against good offensive teams.
Craig, who was an All Star last year, has struggled this season. He is hitting just .237 with seven homers and 44 RBI on the year. Initially, Craig’s value may take a bit of a hit since Yoenis Cespedes is entrenched in left field and Jackie Bradley Jr has center wrapped up. Craig will likely fight with Shane Victorino for playing time in right, but could take over the role full time if he hits.
Victorino is nursing a back injury, and may land on the DL, which will give Craig every chance to take the job and run with it. This is a much better situation than Craig was in in St Louis, where he consistently was benched in favor of top prospect Oscar Taveras.
For those of you in any league that have a spare bench slot, Craig could be worth picking up. If he gets his stroke back from last year, he could put up big numbers in Fenway, and it looks like he will get ample opportunities to play, at least in the short term.
Stay tuned for FantasyCPR for analysis of all of the trade deadline moves and what they mean for your fantasy squads!