Chicago Cubs: Greatest players of the decade – #30-21

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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: No. 25: John Lackey

John Lackey had a long, successful big league career that started in 2002 with the World Series champion Anaheim Angels. Coming off one of the best seasons of his career in 2015 with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs signed the veteran Lackey to help fill out their starting rotation as they prepared for a championship run.

We tend to forget that Lackey was actually very good for the Cubs in 2016. He was exactly what the team needed out of a back-of-the-rotation starter, putting up a 3.35 ERA in 29 starts. Lackey’s final season, both with the Cubs and for his career, wasn’t as pretty, as his ERA jumped to 4.59 while he led the league with 36 home runs allowed.

Still, given the Cubs won a championship in 2016 and another division title in 2017, we can say that Lackey’s time with the Cubs was an undisputed success.

When asked about his goals in 2016, Lackey famously said that he didn’t come to Chicago for a haircut. He wanted to win another World Series, and thanks in part to his contributions, the Cubs were able to do just that.