In talks that have been progressing over the last 48 hours or so, it seems like all but a sure thing that Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox will be traded.
Lester and the Sox are so far apart in contract extension negotiations that it has become nearly inevitable that the team will deal the left-handed ace and his expiring contract between now and Thursday.
Manager John Farrell even seemed to acknowledge that possibility on Tuesday night when he admitted that the team has a backup plan ready in case Lester is traded before his scheduled start Wednesday. From WEEI:
“As of right now, [Lester is] scheduled to start [Wednesday] night,” said Farrell. “We have a contingency plan. If Jon is traded by this time tomorrow Brandon Workman will start.”
Farrell did say that he still hopes to keep Lester for the rest of the season and beyond, but given the momentum of these trade rumors it would seem that is nothing more than manager speak. That would especially be the case given this report from Jon Morosi:
As I just said on @FOXSports1, it’s increasingly likely Jon Lester will be scratched from tomorrow’s start due to trade talks.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 29, 2014
Some team, whether it be the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, or Pittsburgh Pirates, will land an ace. It just might not be the ace we expected in the months leading up to the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. Less than one year removed from a world championship, it will likely be Lester who is dealt.