Cardinals could rework John Lackey’s MLB-minimum contract for the 2015 season

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At the end of October, the Cardinals exercised a major league-minimum option for 2015 on veteran right-hander John Lackey. That option was added to the end of Lackey’s five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Red Sox after he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011, and he told the Cardinals in July when they acquired him that he would honor it.

But the St. Louis front office wants to ensure that the 36-year-old remains happy and motivated next year on what will be a base salary of $507,500 …

That “reworking” will probably involve the addition of some performance-based bonuses. The minimum-salary option was one of the primary reasons the Cards traded Joe Kelly and Allen Craig to get Lackey, so they’re not suddenly going to grant him a ton of guaranteed cash. Lackey has already made $108 million in his career.