Red Sox ace Jon Lester has been traded, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports (Twitter link). The A’s appear to have a deal for Lester, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. WEEI’s Alex Speier adds that he’s trying to confirm, but he hears Lester and Jonny Gomes might be traded for Yoenis Cespedes.
With the trade deadline less than seven hours away, here are some notes out of the Big Apple… The Yankees aren’t focusing on any major trades, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. They’re looking for an upgrade over Ichiro Suzuki in right field — Marlon Byrd is still possible, he notes — as well as some help for the bullpen. The Nationals have called the Mets to express interest in Daniel Murphy, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but a trade between the division rivals is unlikely. Rosenthal noted earlier today that Washington also has interest in Asdrubal Cabrera. The Orioles have checked in on Bartolo Colon, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. However, the Mets aren’t sure whether or not they’ll trade him at this time yet. The Mets have signaled a definite willingness to move Colon, though GM Sandy Alderson isn’t one to simply dump salary in trades, so based on Heyman’s writing, it seems that the O’s probably haven’t made any form of significant offer.
Yesterday revealed there’s a “very good chance” that the Red Sox will trade right-hander John Lackey in advance of this afternoon’s non-waiver trade deadline. The Royals, Indians, and Dodgers have been linked to the right-hander, while the Angels and Brewers are reportedly not pursuing him. The Marlins were also linked to Lackey, though reports on the likelihood of that deal vary from “zero chance” to the two sides still discussing potential deals. Here’s the latest Lackey buzz as the deadline looms… The Pirates are known to have interest in Jon Lester, but today Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says the Bucs are in on Lackey as well. Cafardo also weighed in on the Giants‘ potential interest, writing, “The Giants, who acquired [Jake] Peavy last weekend, were also in the hunt for another arm, and Lackey was also mentioned.”
The Blue Jays aren’t pursuing any bats at this time, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link). Instead, the team is focused entirely on adding to its pitching staff. Sherman doesn’t specify whether the club is looking at starters or relievers, but it stands to reason that the Blue Jays will look to both markets. Toronto’s offense will likely improve with the upcoming returns of Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind, but they’ve long been connected to upgrades in the rotation and in the bullpen. However, some reports have said that they won’t be able to add much in the way of payroll
8:18am: Rosenthal tweets that the Jays, however, aren’t expected to add a hitter. Their talks with Cabrera were earlier this week. 7:43am: The Nationals, Blue Jays and two other clubs have been in contact with the Indians about switch-hitting shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Despite the apparent interest, Cabrera isn’t a lock to be traded, they add. Cabrera was linked to the Nats last night, and Morosi noted yesterday that the Jays and Giants had checked in as well. The Indians were said to be ready to move Cabrera and Justin Masterson as of yesterday afternoon, and they’ve since dealt Masterson to the Cardinals. The 28-year-old Cabrera is hitting .246/.305/.386 with nine homers and seven steals on the season.
As of late last night, the Pirates and the Cardinals were said to be the two teams most aggressively pursuing Jon Lester, who was scratched from Wednesday’s scheduled start. At one point yesterday, the Orioles looked close to a deal, but conflicting reports emerged on the severity of those negotiations. Regardless, Baltimore does seem to be in the mix, and a late-to-the-party mystery team was revealed to be the Athletics. We’ll keep track of the final stages of the Lester sweepstakes in this post… Hall of Fame reporter Peter Gammons tells WEEI’s John Dennis and Gerry Callahan that the Dodgers aren’t in the mix to acquire Lester at this point (Twitter link).
Jon Lester helped the Red Sox out last week by publicly stating that he’d be willing to re-sign with Boston if traded, and it appears that Boston thinks the same scenario could play out with lefty reliever Andrew Miller. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald spoke to a source (Twitter link) who told him that the Sox “believe they have built up enough good will that [Miller would] consider coming back as free agent.” Miller has been the most talked-about left-handed relief option on the trade market, and with good reason. The impending free agent has pitched to a 2.34 ERA with dazzling secondary stats: 14.7 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 52.5 percent ground-ball rate. ERA estimators such as FIP (1.69), xFIP (1.76) and SIERA (1.42) feel that Miller has been even better than that 2.34 mark, and he’s dominated both lefties (.420 OPS) and righties (.537 OPS) this season. Miller has drawn interest from the Braves, Royals, Dodgers and Pirates, but the asking price is said to be very high. The Sox are reportedly seeking a rival team’s top prospect and a lesser prospect in order to move their dominant setup man. Earning just $1.9MM in 2014, Miller is owed only $633K through season’s end.
Matt Kemp homered in the second, scored a go-ahead run in the eighth and delivered a walk-off single in the 10th as the Dodgers edged the Braves, 3-2, on Wednesday night for their fifth win in a row.
The Padres’ offensive outburst backed another strong outing from rookie right-hander Jesse Hahn, who twirled seven strong innings on his 25th birthday as San Diego coasted to a 12-1 win over St. Louis.
The Tigers unloaded the frustration of a four-game losing streak on Hector Noesi in a six-run first inning Wednesday night and coasted to a 7-2 victory over the White Sox at Comerica Park. Max Scherzer worked seven innings to improve to 13-3.