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Jon Lester updates: With talks unlikely, likelihood of trade growing (but not one involving Matt Kemp)

07.28.14 at 8:04 pm ET
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According to multiple major league sources, it looks as though the Red Sox‘ decision whether or not to trade Jon Lester most likely will be made close to the 4 p.m. July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, with the likelihood of a deal gaining momentum.

The sources paint the picture of multiple options being talked about throughout baseball, with Lester’s name being surfaced by myriad clubs. According to Fox Sports, interested teams include the Mariners and Orioles.

Per one source, the chances of the Red Sox re-engaging in talks with Lester’s representatives prior to the deadline aren’t likely. With that in mind, and the Sox still not approaching Lester with an offer in line with the current market value, the chances of the lefty being dealt seem to be increasing.

As for the rumors circulating around Matt Kemp, a source confirms that the Red Sox are not looking to trade for the Dodgers outfielder at the moment.

Read More: 2014 trade deadline, Jon Lester, matt kemp,

Red Sox pregame notes: John Farrell communicating with players before trade deadline, Allen Webster to make start on Saturday

07.28.14 at 7:44 pm ET
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It’s that time of year for manager John Farrell and the Boston Red Sox. With the trade deadline this upcoming Thursday and the Red Sox seemingly in a position to sell off some of their more desirable assets.

Given the recent trade of Jake Peavy, the team’s 48-57 record and the team’s position 10 1/2 games out of the American League East, a number of players, notably Jon Lester, Koji Uehara, Andrew Miller and Jonny Gomes have reportedly drawn interest from other teams.

With only three days until the deadline, Farrell says that the team is constant communication with players on their status of the trade market.

I think it’s out of professional courtesy or respect to the player,” Farrell said. “Ben has been very much involved in this as well, trying to keep guys up to date if there is anything that has legitimacy to a given guy or the fact that in many cases, it’s a rumor and to put their thoughts at rest. I think everyone just wants to know where they stand and what they might anticipate. That being said, that’s the purpose behind it, to allow them to go about their work with a clear mind.”

Farrell, who says no trades are imminent, says the team tries to keep an open line of communication with players in regards to trade possibilities. Farrell says he is in constant communication with general manager Ben Cherington on the state of the team.

“If we need to make roster changes with guys coming from Pawtucket or if there are situations that make sense for us as an organization going forward, there is conversation,” Farrell said. “Ben has got a complete staff to pull form and a draw from and trust. This is about a group of people led by Ben trying to do what’s right for organization.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES:

– Allen Webster will make the start for the Red Sox on Saturday against the Yankees. While there was speculation that Workman could make the start after his uniform was seen in his locker in the Red Sox clubhouse, Farrell put those thoughts to rest.

“Everything points to Allen making that start,” Farrell said. “There is no plan right now to make any changes in our rotation.”

David Ortiz on Jon Lester: ‘He’s a keeper’

07.28.14 at 5:43 pm ET
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David Ortiz is aware of the reality of the Red Sox‘€™ situation at the trade deadline. With rumors swirling about what players may or may not remain in Red Sox uniforms by 4 p.m. Thursday, Ortiz maintains that he believes the club should hang on to one of their biggest assets.

Jon Lester‘€™s name has understandably come up in trade rumors recently, with the left-hander approaching free agency and the Red Sox sinking deeper in the AL East standings by the day. But Ortiz has confidence that his long-time teammate will still be his teammate in 2015.

“€œ[Lester is] a good player and I still believe at some point [he and the Red Sox] are going to get to an agreement,” Ortiz said Monday.

Ortiz, who has shared a field with Lester since Lester made his debut in 2006, expressed his confusion over the prospect of dealing away the rotation’€™s ace.

“He’€™s one of the best pitchers in the game…you definitely want to rebuild around a guy like him. He brings everything to the table every time he takes the mound, he takes his job very seriously,” Ortiz said. “I don’€™t know where [the rumor] comes from…it might come from the front office or whatever, but when you’€™re planning on trading that type of a player, you must be getting half a team from some other place.

‘€œHe’€™s very valuable to this ball club, he’€™s won a couple World Series, and you can’€™t ask the guy for [anything] more than what he has done. He’€™s in his prime.”

Regardless, Ortiz understands that this kind of speculation is part of the game around this point in the season.

“By this time, the trade talk is always out there. Sometimes it can be a little frustrating because some of your own teammates are going to be moved at some point,”€ Ortiz said. “At the same time, it’€™s the kind of situation you’€™ve got to deal with.”

But as the deadline looms closer, Ortiz hopes that come Thursday night, Lester will still be in a Red Sox uniform.

“This is a tough market, and you have a guy that throughout his career playing here he’€™s been able to do what he’€™s done, he’€™s a keeper,” Ortiz said. “We’€™ll see what happens.”

 

Tim Kurkjian on MFB: ‘I’m going to say that Jon Lester is not going to be traded’

07.28.14 at 3:10 pm ET
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ESPN baseball writer Tim Kurkjian joined Middays with MFB Monday afternoon to discuss trade rumors surrounding Jon Lester, Koji Uehara and other Red Sox players. To listen to the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Trade rumors linking Lester to the Dodgers have quickly emerged as one of the top stories leading up to the July 31 deadline, with LA outfielder Matt Kemp tied in with many of the trade discussions. Kurkjian said that he doesn’€™t believe that Boston will trade its ace, but noted that a lot can change in the upcoming days.

“I’€™m going to say that Jon Lester is not going to be traded, with the understanding that has finally occurred to me in the last five days that it’€™s a possibility,” Kurkjian said. “I would say 10 days ago, I was told, ‘€˜Jon Lester is not going to be traded.’€™ And now that possibility exists, therefore it is a fascinating situation, and the Dodger angle is very interesting. They have so much money to deal with, all they care about there is winning a World Series and if they can’€™t get David Price, than maybe, just maybe, they look to Jon Lester.

“I’€™m just not sure that Matt Kemp is the right fit here. Granted, the Red Sox need all sorts of outfield help, that’€™s pretty obvious. He played all three outfield positions this year because he has not done very well in center field, but it just doesn’€™t seem like this is going to happen -€“ Kemp for Lester – because too much money is involved from Kemp’€™s end, free agency with Lester, to me, there are just too many moving parts.”

Another prime candidate to be traded is closer Koji Uehara, who has once again been spectacular at the back end of the bullpen (21 saves, 1.51 ERA, 0.76 WHIP) this season. While Kurkjian acknowledged that Uehara could be dealt, he added that a big-market team such as the Red Sox do not have the luxury to just mail it in for the rest of the season.

“It’€™s going to be real interesting what they do with Koji, who had a second half of the year like almost no closer has ever had. … But a free agent at the end of the year, how much is he going to ask for? The Red Sox have to ask themselves, ‘€˜Is he our closer? Do we need to re-sign him? What’€™s that going to take?’€™ I was told all along that they’€™re not trading Koji if they’€™re in the race, but if they fall out of the race, they naturally have to at least look into it, and I’€™m sure that they will,” Kurkjian said. “All sorts of teams need a reliever, that’€™s for sure. This is where contenders, including the Dodgers, just absolutely load up on as many relievers as the can get down the stretch, because you win in the postseason with a deep, versatile bullpen.”

Kurkjian continued: “This is a different situation here in Boston. These are not the Cubs. This team won the World Series last year, they’€™re selling out virtually every night, it’€™s an expensive ticket, you can’€™t just give up on the season when you’€™re the Boston Red Sox and that’€™s the tricky spot that they’€™re in.”

With the Red Sox 10 1/2 games back in the AL East standings, it appears that all hope is lost for any potential playoff runs in 2014. As a result, multiple players could be sent packing in the coming days, including Mike Carp, Felix Doubront, Stephen Drew and Jonny Gomes. While the Red Sox aren’€™t likely to gain ground in the standings, Kurkjian said that a potential Red Sox fire sale would not be too large.

“No, I don’€™t think so,” Kurkjian said. “I think at this time of year, at least this is my experience, you hear 1,000 names and two of them move, or one of them move. You also need to look at the value of the people that you’€™re trading. Mike Carp is a good player in spurts, he can help you in a lot of ways but he’€™s not going to bring you much realistically, so if you’€™re not getting anything back, why would you move him even though he’€™d like to move on? … That’€™s the way it works this time of year. When you fall out of it, everyone’€™s available but it’€™s very rare that three, four, five guys move from one team at the trade deadline.”

For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Jon Lester, matt kemp, Tim Kurkjian, Trade deadline

Red Sox-Blue Jays series preview

07.28.14 at 3:09 pm ET
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The outlook of the 2014 season looks bleak for the Red Sox.

With just four days until the July 31 trade deadline and 10 1/2 games out of first place, it appears that Boston is ready to wave the white flag on the year and prepare to add assets for future campaigns.

“Anything we do between now and Thursday afternoon will be with a mind toward building as quickly as possible for April of 2015,”€ said Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington. “And so that might mean doing very little, it might mean doing a bunch of stuff. It might be between that. I don’€™t know yet.”

While Boston’€™s chances of making the playoffs continue to dwindle by the day, the Red Sox still have an opportunity to make up some ground in the division when they host the Blue Jays for a three-game series at Fenway Park.

While the Red Sox trend downward, the Blue Jays have looked resurgent coming out of the All-Star Break. Entering the break, Toronto had dropped eight of its last 10 games and had fallen to four games out of first place in the AL East. Even with injuries to key contributors such as Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie, the Blue Jays have been able to battle back into contention for a playoff spot with a 7-3 record over their last 10 games.

“It is kind of a resilient group,” said manager John Gibbons said after Toronto’€™s 5-4 win over the Yankees on Sunday afternoon. “We have some guys that didn’t start with us, they’re getting some opportunities and they’re doing good things for us.

“That’s important, guys are filling in and they have to do the job for you. We were struggling going into the All-Star break, so playing better coming out of it was very important to us.”

The Blue Jays got the best of the Red Sox in their last series on July 21-24 at Rogers Centre, taking three of four from Boston and further knocking the Red Sox down in the division standings. Boston has struggled against Toronto this season, posting a 3-7 record against its divisional opponent.

Here are the pitching matchups for the three-game series.

Monday: Clay Buchholz (5-6, 5.50 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (8-10, 4.04 ERA)

Tuesday: Rubby De La Rosa (3-3, 3.54 ERA) vs. Marcus Stroman (6-2, 3.21 ERA)

Wednesday: Jon Lester (10-7, 2.52 ERA) vs. Mark Buehrle (10-7, 3.19 ERA)

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: ben cherington, Blue Jays, Jon Lester, Red Sox

Red Sox minor league roundup: Steps forward for Matt Barnes; Wendell Rijo scorching; Mars streaking

07.28.14 at 1:46 pm ET
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A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 3-1 LOSS AT SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE (YANKEES)

(BOX)

– The PawSox saw their 11-game winning streak conclude. Pawtucket broadcaster Josh Maurer does an excellent job dissecting the streak.

– Right-hander Matt Barnes had his second straight solid start coming out of the All-Star Break, tossing five innings and allowing two runs while matching a season-high with six strikeouts. He gave up four hits (three singles and a double) while walking two. Barnes now has back-to-back outings of at least five innings and two runs allowed, the first time he’s had such a stretch since accomplishing the feat in four straight starts to open his season in Pawtucket. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: danny mars, matt barnes, wendell rijo,

Jonny Gomes takes stock of potential trade: ‘This isn’t my first rodeo’

07.28.14 at 10:21 am ET
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Who’s next? It’s a question that hovers over the Red Sox roster right now, and will continue to do so until the trade deadline passes on Thursday. All potential free agents are on high alert, given the Red Sox‘ stated intention of putting themselves in the best position possible come April 2015.

Outfielder Jonny Gomes, in the second season of the two-year, $10 million contract he signed with the Red Sox on his birthday following the 2012 campaign, is aware of that fact. The possibility is not alarming, as Gomes already has experienced a mid-year relocation, going from the Reds to the Nationals for a pair of minor leaguers in 2011.

The 33-year-old, hitting .240/.333/.363 with six homers, but a robust .315/.410/.450 line against lefties, clearly wouldn’t be surprised if he were dealt to a contender in need of a right-handed bat with some thump. He’s not eager to be dealt, but he’s prepared if it happens, and suggests that his on-field performance won’t be impacted by the team for whom he spends the rest of the year.

“The first time I got traded, it was extremely mixed emotions of a team, not necessarily giving up, but feels you’re replaceable. At the same time, out of all the guys available in the trade market, this other team picked you,” said Gomes. “You never want to be given up on. But there are situations where you’re not being given up on but the business side stands out. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Jonny Gomes, mlb trade deadline 2014,
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