The Boston Red Sox may hold the biggest trading chip as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline rapidly approaches and the fate of left-handed starting pitcher Jon Lester remains murky.
Lester may be the biggest name to move at or around the deadline depending on the availability of David Price and Cole Hamels and with the Red Sox stuck in last place in the American League east and Lester a pending free agent, the Red Sox could receive a significant haul in a trade.
A trade of Lester likely will not be received well among fans, even if they receive a big package of prospects to help a rebuilding effory and it certainly will not be met well in the clubhouse where David Ortiz expressed his hope that the two will come to an agreement.
“They should [come to an agreement],” Ortiz said. “He’s one of the best pitchers in the game. You definitely want to rebuild around a guy like him. He brings everything to the table every time he takes the mound. He takes his job very seriously. He’s one of the best in the game.
“He’s in the top three in the league. This is a guy who is very valuable to this ballclub. He’s young. He’s very talented. He’s won a couple of World Series and you can’t ask a guy for no more than what he’s done. He’s in his prime.”
Lester commented on his name being thrown about in trade rumors and how frustrating it can be, but rumors are part of the business, especially this time of the year, and didn’t rule out returning to Boston in the offseason as a free agent if the team decides its best course of action is to trade one of the game’s best southpaw’s.
If it were up to Ortiz, the two would have already come to an agreement and the team can focus on trying to win some ball games and stop answering questions about who is coming and going.
His prediction is that Lester won’t be going anywhere.
“This is a really good player, and I still believe at some point they get into an agreement and we’ll get to enjoy seeing Lester pitch for [a long time]. He’s a guy you enjoy watching pitch — there’s no question about it.”