Allen Craig never panned out with the Red Sox.

Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

Red Sox release veteran Allen Craig, who never panned out after being acquired for John Lackey

John Tomase
June 30, 2017 - 8:15 pm

The Red Sox on Friday released infielder Allen Craig, three years after acquiring him from the Cardinals for veteran right-hander John Lackey in a blockbuster trade.

That deal also yielded right-hander Joe Kelly, who has emerged as a weapon in the bullpen. Craig never produced for the Red Sox, hitting just .139 in 65 games.

He was hitting .253 with a .668 OPS at Triple-A Pawtucket this season and hadn't appeared in a big league game since 2015.

That's not the kind of production the Red Sox were hoping for when they acquired the 2013 All-Star, who never seemed to overcome the effects of a foot injury in Boston. He's in the final year of a five-year, $31 million contract and making $11 million. The Red Sox are on the hook for the rest of his salary, plus a $1 million buyout of his $13 million option for 2018.

All told, they paid him more than $27 million to hit two homers with five RBIs and a .441 OPS.