Lackey's BoSox deal not done yet

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The Boston Globe’s Nick Carfardo reports that the Red Sox and John Lackey still haven’t finalized a five-year, $82.5 million contract because of issues regarding contract language.
According to Cafardo, the Red Sox want something in the contract that would protect them in case Lackey goes down with a pre-existing medical issue, presumably related to his elbow problems of the last two years. There’s similar language in J.D. Drew’s five-year deal involving his right shoulder, which had given him problems previously in his career.
While Drew’s deal is hardly unique, it might be a first if the Red Sox can get themselves protected against an arm injury to a pitcher. It’s buyer beware when entering into a long-term deal with a pitcher, particularly since taking out an insurance policy has become so expensive, when they’re available at all, that most teams forgo them these days.

Cubs place Ben Zobrist on 10-day disabled list with back soreness

Ben Zobrist
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Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.

Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.

With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.