Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 1:10pm


The St. Louis Cardinals acquired pitchers John Lackey and Corey Littrell, and cash from the Boston Red Sox for outfielder Allen Craig and pitcher Joe Kelly.

What does it give the St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals decided to add another veteran starter, after earlier obtaining {P Justin Masterson} from the Indians. Lackey will replace Kelly in the rotation and is a big upgrade...especially if they reach the postseason. Interestingly, St. Louis decided to deal Craig in order to give {P Oscar Taveras} the full-time job in right field. The Cards feel they've upgraded both the pitching and hitting with this move, though Craig was a clutch performer and far more proven than young Taveras.

What does it give the Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox rebuild differently than most big-league squads, and this deal is further proof. Instead of opting for prospects, Boston landed a solid mid-rotation starter in Kelly and a good RBI man in Craig, who could end up in right field in Beantown (but can also play first base and left field). With this move (and others), the Red Sox are positioning themselves to strongly contend in the American League in 2015. Their 2014 chances are likely done, however.

Fantasy impact
Lackey has never pitched in the NL, so there will be an adjustment period. However, he should do well in St. Louis and may opt to stay beyond '14. His fantasy value remains fairly strong. Craig could see a spike in value now that he'll play half the time at Fenway Park, so he too is on the rise. Kelly, on the other hand, may lose value in the American League. That all said, the big winner after this deal is clearly Taveras--who finally becomes an everyday player.

Player focus

St. Louis Cardinals

cash considerations

Corey Littrell P

John Lackey SP