According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the Pirates are "a fast-emerging dark horse in the Jon Lester sweepstakes."
Brown reports that 21-year-old, switch-hitting outfielder Josh Bell, considered one of the prizes of the Pittsburgh farm system, is "at the center of the talks." He's hitting only .217/.294/.239 in 12 games at Double-A Altoona, but he was just promoted there after a sizzling .335/.384/.502 performance in 84 games at High-A Bradenton.
The Red Sox, writes Brown, "continue to ask for an exceedingly high return considering Lester will be a free agent this offseason, sources said, targeting multiple high-end prospects in exchange for what amounts to a rental." Lester will be a free agent at the end of the season.