Lackey, 37, is coming off quite possibly the best season of his career. Last year, he went 13-10 with a 2.77 ERA (3.57 FIP; 3.77 xFIP) in 218 innings pitched with the St. Louis Cardinals.
While he was not an elite free agent starting pitcher due to his age, Lackey was one of the better options on the market and fits the Cubs' needs for a starter quite well. Outside of Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester, the Cubs did not have a solid third option in their rotation last year.
Lackey cannot be expected to have the same results he had last year. However, even at his career average 3.92 ERA, he will be an upgrade as the No. 3 starter in their staff.
With the signing of Lackey, the Cubs will lose their first round draft pick. He had received and declined a qualifying offer from St. Louis at the beginning of the offseason.
At $16 million per season, Lackey seems like a good bargain, even though he is 37-years-old. In a year when J.A. Happ gets $12 million per year, just $4 million more for John Lackey seems like a solid price for Chicago. Though he did cost them a draft pick, the signing, as of now seems worth it.