The Day After: Breaking Down the Red Sox Deadline Deals

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Jul 27, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher John Lackey (41) smiles in the dugout during the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

SP John Lackey to the Cardinals for SP Joe Kelly and OF Allen Craig

While fans were up in arms about the Jon Lester trade, the trade of John Lackey to St. Louis for pitcher Joe Kelly and Allen Craig was a little easier to stomach.

Maybe it was the numb feeling that many fans had after their ace had departed, but fans seemed to be accepting of that Lackey, another pitcher that made up the top of the Sox order, was being shipped out.

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  • Again, it seems like Boston got a return in the deal that was better than expected.

    In return for John Lackey, minor league pitcher Corey Littrell, and $1.75 million, per Jon Heyman of, the Red Sox got two players that are both under control for a while. Craig, 29, recently signed a five-year, $31 million dollar contract in 2013, while Kelly, 26, won’t be a free agent until 2018.

    In Craig, the Red Sox are hoping to get the outfielder that starred in the 2012 World Series, not the player who is only hitting .237 on the season. Another problem might be fitting him in a crowded outfield, but Craig also has experience at first-base, so he could be a future replacement for Mike Napoli. If the change of scenery can bust Craig’s slump, and return him to his 2012 form, it will look like an amazing deal for Boston.

    Joe Kelly has battled injuries throughout the 2014 season, but has pitched in the postseason, can pitch in the mid-90’s, and has a 3.25 ERA in three seasons with St. Louis. Boston will likely slot Kelly into a rotation that has been completely overhauled in the past couple weeks.

    Both Kelly and Craig are players that look to factor into the future of the Red Sox roster, but that can also produce this season. Lackey, 35, has been decent this season with a 3.60 ERA, but questions surrounded him about whether he has much left in the tank.

    Again, instead of getting prospects, the Red Sox front office got a couple proven major-leaguers that can contribute now and in the future, which means a good deal for Boston.

    GRADE: B+