Cardinals willing to rework Lackey's reduced contract

Righty's 2015 salary lowered because of injury

Cardinals willing to rework Lackey's reduced contract

ST. LOUIS -- Though the Cardinals have veteran starter John Lackey under contract for the 2015 season, general manager John Mozeliak said he plans to meet with Lackey's agent, Steve Hilliard, at next week's Winter Meetings to possibly discuss the good-faith gesture of restructuring Lackey's contract.

The Cardinals inherited the contract Lackey signed with Boston in 2009, which included a provision that if Lackey missed significant time to injury, a 2015 option at the Major League minimum would trigger. It did when he had to sit out in 2012 while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The Major League minimum next year will be just over $500,000. Lackey, who has earned more than $108 million in his career, hasn't had a salary that low since 2005. Last year, he made $15.25 million.

The opportunity to have Lackey at such a low cost in 2015 was one of the reasons why he was so attractive to the Cardinals at the Trade Deadline last July. The Cardinals are not obligated to make any adjustments to that salary, but they could consider doing so as a sign of respect for Lackey, whose value is obviously much higher.

Asked the likelihood of making a modification, Mozeliak said, "I wouldn't rule anything out."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.