With all kinds of uncertainty surrounding Major League Baseball’s Trade Deadline on July 31st, the Boston Red Sox are taking another step towards a potential trade for pitcher Jon Lester.
ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes reported that the Red Sox have pulled Lester from his expected start on Wedneday. If Lester isn’t dealt by the deadline, he would be available to make Friday’s start against the New York Yankees. For now, though, he will sit so as not to risk potential injury.
Manager John Farrell will use Brandon Workman in his place and cited that sitting Lester was the right thing to do just because of all of the uncertainty surrounding him right now. The move is being made based on the possibility that Lester could be dealt in advance of the deadline.
Over the past few weeks, Lester’s name has come up quite a bit in trade talks with several interested teams. Among those reportedly interested in his services are the Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A’s, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Boston’s preference is likely to get Lester out of the Division so the Blue Jays may be at a slight disadvantage. Lester moving to the National League is surely a preference as well if it can be managed and the return is good enough.
The Dodgers and Pirates seem to be two names that are most often mentioned. Potential targets of the Red Sox are believed to include the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp and minor league prospects of the Pirates.
The latest to join the fray are the Pirates. Pittsburgh isn’t known for making splashes at the trade deadline when it comes to acquiring star talent, but with the Bucs in contention for a postseason spot, trading away big time prospects may be something the club is willing to do this year. At the top of the wish list for Boston, Edes writes, may be outfielder prospects and that’s certainly a position of strength for Pittsburgh.
The club’s outfield at the major league level consists of MVP Andrew McCutchen, and young talent Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco. If all three continue producing, the outfield could be set for many years to come. As a result, some of their outfield talent in the minor league system could be traded away in return for Lester, including promising bats Josh Bell and Austin Meadows.
Major League Baseball’s trade deadline is on July 31st.