As the MLB trade deadline approaches, the Boston Red Sox have become more and more subject to trade rumors, especially regarding their ace, Jon Lester. It seems as if every few hours there is a new development on the Lester front. Just today, ESPN reporter Jayson Stark broke the news that the Red Sox have let every contending team know that Lester is available. In return, the Sox would be looking for a package deal including “at least one upper-echelon prospect”.
Just a week ago, the Lester trade seemed far fetched, but now it appears imminent. Lester stated that he would not count out a return to Boston next year even if he is traded, but that all depends on what the Red Sox are willing to pay him.
Another rumor that has spread like wildfire involves Lester going to the Dodgers for Matt Kemp among others. It sounds as if the Dodgers top prospect, Joc Pederson, is not available. Kemp, who turns 30 this September, has been healthy this year after going through a series of injuries the previous two years. Kemp has not shown the power or speed he displayed in his 2011 campaign when he finished with 39 home runs and 40 stolen bases and is not exactly earning the 8-year, $160 million salary that he signed after his breakout year. The Dodgers would certainly have to eat a chunk of that money for the Red Sox to consider the deal.
There hasn’t been any other names linked to a deal involving Lester, but don’t be surprised if proposed deals continue to pop up throughout the next few days.
It has also been made clear that both Mike Carp and Felix Doubront are not happy with their playing time and would like to be dealt. Carp has requested a trade, while Doubront has told Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive that he is not content in the bullpen. While no specific teams have been linked to the two, it’s likely that one, if not both of them are gone by Thursday.
John Lackey, whose name had become less mentioned in the midst of the Lester talks, is getting attention as well. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Sox are being “hit hard” on both Lester and Lackey by most teams, even in the AL East. Lackey has a club option next year for the minimum salary, so he would not go straight to the market as Lester will.
Andrew Miller‘s name is also being thrown out there quite a bit. Peter Gammons has reported that the Dodgers and Nationals are two teams that have shown interest in the tall lefty who is having his best year in the big leagues. Perhaps the Red Sox could package him and Lester to acquire Pederson from the Dodgers rather than Kemp.
Koji Uehara is one name that seems to be getting less talked about in recent days. Uehara, who will turn 40 next year, is still pitching at a top level and it is believed that the Red Sox would like to bring him back next year. Two other closers, Joakim Soria and Huston Street, have already been dealt to contenders for relatively good return, so it’s possible the Sox could get good return on the aging Uehara.
It would make sense if Stephen Drew is traded if the Red Sox begin to clean house, but he has not been linked to any teams as of now. Drew, whose average still lingers well below the Mendoza line, has essentially caused Xander Bogaerts to go into a slump of extreme proportions. The only reason I can think of why the Sox would keep him is because nobody else will want him.
One last rumor to throw out there regards Troy Tulowitzki. Yes, the same Troy Tulowitzki that was spotted in Yankee Stadium on a day when the Rockies had a game themselves. Tulowitzki continues to struggle with injuries and was recently put on the DL. The Rockies have been terrible as of late and may be having a fire sale of their own and Tulowitzki has told a source that he would welcome a trade to Boston, according to Peter Abraham. Obviously it wouldn’t make sense in the least bit, but that’s why they are called rumors.