BALTIMORE -- John Lackey’s strong performance as a starter this season, a continuation of the impressive comeback he mounted last season from Tommy John surgery, already has invited plenty of speculation about his future in Boston.
The situation has more than the usual intrigue because Lackey, who will be 36 in October, is bound to the Red Sox in 2015 for $500,000, the byproduct of a clause in his contract that stipulated if he missed time for Tommy John elbow during the life of his five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Sox, Boston could tack on an option year for the minimum.
That arrangement prompted a report from Fox baseball analyst Ken Rosenthal that Lackey might consider retirement before he would pitch for such a relatively modest salary. A good reason, Rosenthal said, for the club and pitcher to explore a two-year extension.
Lackey said Wednesday he had not spoken with Rosenthal about the possibility of retiring. Asked if that option was on his radar, he said, “I’m not even thinking that far ahead right now. I’m just going to pitch right now and think about that stuff after the season.’’
As well as he's pitching, why would he retire?
“No, I’m still having fun, still pitching well,’’ he said. “Honestly, I’m just focusing on pitching right now. I haven’t looked that far down the road.’’
Lackey said he hasn’t asked the Sox for an extension. “Haven’t even thought about it,’’ he said.
Would he like to have that conversation with the club? “We’ll see how things go in the season,’’ he said. “I’m just worried about pitching against the Indians in a couple of days.’’
Lackey is scheduled to face Cleveland Friday night in Fenway Park.