D.J. Short, NBC's Hardball Talk
The Red Sox are reportedly listening to offers for left-hander Jon Lester, but he might not be the only member of Boston’s rotation who ends up elsewhere prior to Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline:
Source: #RedSox open to trading BOTH Lester and Lackey for right returns.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 29, 2014
It makes sense that the Red Sox are open to dealing Lester, as he’s an impending free agent and extension talks haven’t gone anywhere. They’ll likely get more back via trade than the value of a compensatory draft pick from a qualifying offer. Besides, there’s always the chance they could re-sign him even they trade him over the next few days. Lester brought up that possibility himself over the weekend. However, Lackey is a very different case, as his contract includes a $500,000 club option for 2015 as a result of his Tommy John surgery from 2012. With that kind of value, there’s an argument to be made that the trade package for him should rival that of Lester. He certainly won’t come cheap.
Lackey, 35, owns a solid 3.55 ERA over 50 starts dating back to the start of last season. His 133 ERA+ is 31st in MLB (min. 250 IP) during that timespan.