As expected, the St. Louis Cardinals today officially announced they have extended qualifying offers to both Jason Heyward and John Lackey. Both players now have the option of signing the $15.8 million offers or remaining free agents.
Teams had to extend the qualifying offers by 4pm CT this afternoon. Players have until November 13th to accept or decline the offers.
The 37-year old Lackey tied his career-best with 33 starts in 2015 while going 13-10 with a 2.77 ERA for the Cardinals. He ranked among National League pitching leaders in wins (13, T12th), earned run average (2.77, 7th), innings pitched (218.0, 6th) and quality starts (26, 4th), while setting a career-high and tied for the Major League lead with 29 double plays induced.
Lackey started Game 1 and 4 of the National League Division Series against Chicago, including a performance of 7.1 scoreless innings in Game 1 en route to his eighth career postseason win.
Heyward led the Cardinals with a .293 batting average. He hit 13 home runs and tallied 60 RBIs to go with career highs in hits (160), doubles (33) and a team-leading 23 stolen bases. The 26-year old Heyward is currently a finalist for the Rawlings Gold Glove award among National League right-fielders, after winning the award in 2012 and 2014.
PROSPECTS ON DISPLAY
–Pitcher Luke Weaver will take the mound today with other top Cardinals prospects for the Surprise Saguaros in Arizona Fall League action. The game will be broadcast at 1:30pm CT on MLB Network.
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports