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Cardinals exercise 2015 option on pitcher John Lackey at major league minimum

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ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Cardinals have exercised their 2015 contract option on pitcher John Lackey, which is at the major league minimum.

The right-hander agreed to an $82.5 million, five-year contract with Boston in December 2009 that contained a provision for a conditional team option at the minimum if he missed a season due to specified injury. Lackey did not pitch in 2012 after reconstructive elbow surgery.

The major league minimum next year will be $500,000 plus a cost-of-living adjustment to be determined Nov. 20, which is likely to be $9,000 to $10,000.

Lackey, who turned 36 on Oct. 23, was 14-10 with a 3.83 ERA last year with the Red Sox and Cardinals and was 1-0 in two postseason starts for the NL Central champions.

Lackey was acquired at the trade deadline in July in a deal that sent outfielder Allen Craig and pitcher Joe Kelly to Boston. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said the contract option was a key to the deal.

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