Jul 10, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Could the Boston Red Sox be sellers at the MLB trade deadline?

It seems like forever ago that the Boston Red Sox were riding high on a mantra of ‘Boston Strong,’ taking a city on its back and carrying its people all the way to a World Series title – the franchise’s third championship since the turn of the century.

Heading into this week’s All-Star festivities, Boston finds itself in dead-last in the American League East at 43-52, trailing the first-place Baltimore Orioles by 9 1/2 games. With just weeks until the Major League Baseball trade deadline, the next 10-to-14 days could very well decide the fate of general manager Ben Cherington’s team.

The biggest question mark is whether or not the team will be able to re-sign southpaw ace Jon Lester. As recently as early July, reports emerged that the 30-year-old lefty would consider a midseason contract extension, but as of Monday night, the two sides appeared no closer to a deal than at that point earlier this month. Rob Bradford of WEEI offered his take on the Red Sox approach in getting a deal done.

The team has seemingly taken the approach of starting on the low end of Lester’s perceived market value, coming in with an initial offer of four years at $70 million. It is the same strategy taken by the Red Sox in talks with Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury.

Other notable names that have come up include John Lackey, whose career as seen a major resurgence since coming to Boston, Andrew Miller and Jake Peavy – who came to Boston in a trade last season. The performance of the team’s outfielders has been less-than-expected, namely the sub-par performance of Jackie Bradley Jr.

Peavy has been tied to St. Louis, most notably, while Miller has drawn interest from several teams, namely the Atlanta Braves, in the midst of one of the best seasons of his big league career.

If the team can’t bounce back from its first-half woes quickly, Cherington may be faced with a serious decision: deal from its pitching depth and acquire younger talent – a formula that worked so well in Boston in the first decade of the century – or hope this team of veterans can rediscover its camaraderie from its championship-winning season a year ago.

Tags: Boston Red Sox Jake Peavy John Lackey Jon Lester MLB

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