Report: John Lackey to pitch in 2018

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by - Senior Editor -
Jeff Curry - USA Today Sports
Jeff Curry - USA Today Sports

Chicago Cubs pitcher John Lackey was supposed to retire after his teammate Jon Lester toasted him in the locker room during the 2017 playoffs. However, Lackey has other plans.

Lackey is not retiring and will pitch in 2018 according to multiple reports on Tuesday night. He has never filed his official MLB retirement papers, and it appears that he will be back for another season.

In 2017, he was 12-12 with a 4.59 ERA with 149 strikeouts and 1.28 WHIP. The long ball was a huge problem for Lackey because it seemed like he was giving up two or three dingers every start as he gave up an NL-high 36 homers last season.

However, during the second half of the season, he had an impressive 3.75 ERA as the Cubs surged to win the NL Central division.

For his 14-year career, he has a 188-147 record with 3.92 ERA with 2294 strikeouts. He made his major league debut back on June 24, 2002 against the Texas Rangers.

It will be interesting to see what kind of offers will be out there for the 39-year old in free agency and whether the Cubs are thinking of him for a possible fifth spot in the rotation or fall back option.

In 2017, Lackey had a salary of $16,000,000 which ended his two-year, $32 million deal with the Cubs. In those two years, he made 59 starts and had a 3.94 ERA. Look for Lackey to sign with a team with a one-year deal worth around $8 to $12 million during free agency.

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