Good. Because if Jon Lester goes, so too must John Lackey.
The notion that Lester’s departure adds to Lackey’s importance to the rotation is flawed. What good is the Red Sox rotation with a No. 2 or 3 starter in the No. 1 spot, followed a bunch of rookies?
Without Lester, this rotation is in trouble even with Lackey. So get something for him. I have to think the $500,000 salary he's due next season makes him very appealing. Besides, trading their top two pitchers --one an All-Star, the other a sold starter --should help the Red Sox get quality and quantity as a lovely parting gift for departing the 2014 postseason race.
What if Lackey refuses to pitch for his half million, you say? Get serious. Do you really think a 36-year-old is going to sit at home and lose a full season as he moves another year closer to 40? Of course not. Whatever club trades for him can work out a reasonable two-year extension.
Since John Henry said mega-deals to over-30 players were no longer acceptable at Fenway, I've accepted the Red Sox fate. They are going young and cheap. So there's no need to keep an old and cheap war horse like John Lackey around for window dressing.