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Trade deadline roundup: NL Central contenders reportedly head list of Jon Lester suitors

07.30.14 at 12:11 pm ET
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Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester remains in limbo, but reports midday Wednesday indicate there could be a battle between National League Central teams for his services.

The Cardinals’ interest apparently has stirred the Brewers and Pirates, not only so they can get better but so they can keep him away from a rival. All three teams are within 1 1/2 games of each other atop the division.

The Dodgers reportedly still are interested, along with the Mariners.

Meanwhile, the other standout lefty from the American League East on the market appears less likely to be moved. While the Dodgers and Cardinals are said to remain interested in Rays ace David Price, the Rays’ recent hot streak (they’ve won 11 of their last 12 games) might help keep him in Tampa.

While Lester was scratched from Wednesday’s start, Price tweeted Wednesday morning that he’s planning to suit up for his team’s afternoon game against the Brewers, joking: This is my last start for the Rays….IN JULY!!! been up and been ready!!!

– According to multiple reports, the Phillies are making pitcher Cole Hamels available, but at a steep price.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that Philadelphia has asked for multiple top prospects from the Red Sox, Dodgers and Yankees.

ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that the Phillies are only willing to pay $10 million of the remaining $90 million-plus on Hamels’ contract.

– The Cubs, who sent Jeff Samardzija to the Athletics earlier this month, plan to be involved in more trade discussions involving some of their players.

“I think we’ll be active,” general manager Jed Hoyer told Chicago Tribune reporter Mark Gonzalez. “It wouldn’t surprise me if we made no moves, but I guess I’d say I’d expect to be active. [Wednesday] is moving day. I’d expect things would be a lot more serious as we move into [Wednesday].”

Gonzalez reports that representatives from the Mets, Giants, Mariners and Dodgers watched Edwin Jackson start Tuesday night’s game. Infielder Emilio Bonifacio and left-handed relievers James Russell and Wesley Wright after other names to watch.

– The Rangers reportedly are willing to pay some of the remaining salary due to outfielder Alex Rios, although the interest appears to be fading. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted that there has been interest from the Indians, Reds, Royals and Giants.

Read More: Alex Rios, Cole Hamels, David Price, edwin jackson

List: Most significant Red Sox trade deadline deals since 2000

07.30.14 at 11:02 am ET
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The trade deadline is just one day away. And after another loss Tuesday night, it appears likely the last-place Red Sox will not only be active sellers from now until 4 p.m. Thursday, but some big names could be on the move.

The fire sale began this past weekend when the Sox sent Jake Peavy to the Giants for a pair of pitching prospects. Since then, multiple players within the organization have been involved in trade rumors, including Jon Lester, Andrew Miller, Koji Uehara and a few others.

This certainly isn’t the first time the Red Sox have been active participants in the deadline madness since the turn of the century, for better or worse. The Sox have shown they’re not afraid to make a splash in July to bolster their roster for a playoff push. However, even some of their least notable deals at the time have proven to be the different between a World Series championship and an early exit.

Here are the Red Sox‘ top 10 most significant trade deadline moves since 2000.

10. July 30, 2002: Red Sox receive outfielder Cliff Floyd, send right-handers Seung Song and Sun-Woo Kim to the Expos

The Red Sox were in the midst of a pennant race by July 2002 and bolstered their lineup by trading for Floyd. The slugger was a key bat for the Sox, hitting .316/.374/.561 in 47 games and 171 at-bats. But it wasn’t enough to propel the 93-win Red Sox into the postseason, and Floyd left as a free agent after the season.

9. July 31, 2011: Red Sox receive left-hander Erik Bedard and right-hander Josh Fields, send catcher Tim Federowicz and right-handers Juan Rodriguez and Stephen Fife to the Dodgers

Bedard, who was acquired from the Mariners in a three-team deal, was supposed to be a nice arm to join the rotation and help the Sox in what looked like an inevitable postseason run. But like the Red Sox of September 2011, Bedard failed to replicate past success. The lefty pitched a combined 38 innings over eight starts and finished with a 4.03 ERA before leaving after the season.

8. July 31, 2010: Red Sox receive catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, send first baseman Chris McGuiness, right-hander Roman Mendez and catcher Michael Thomas to the Rangers

With Jason Varitek‘s career nearing an end and Victor Martinez‘s contract expiring, the Sox acquired Saltalamacchia to be their catcher for the upcoming future. The deal proved valuable for the Red Sox as Saltamacchia gave them three strong seasons with over 100 games played and was key in their 2013 World Series run. He hit .273/.338/.466 in 121 games for the Sox last season before signing with the Marlins in the offseason.

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Wednesday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Brandon Workman vs. Mark Buehrle

07.30.14 at 8:38 am ET
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The Red Sox look to salvage a game from their three-game series against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Wednesday when they send Brandon Workman to the mound against Mark Buehrle.

Brandon Workman

Brandon Workman

Jon Lester was scheduled to start Wednesday’s game up until Tuesday night when manager John Farrell scratched the left-hander because of the trade rumors involving the Sox ace.

“In light of all the uncertainty surrounding Jon Lester, it’€™s probably in everyone’€™s best interests that he does not make that start, so Brandon will be recalled,” Farrell said after the Sox’ 4-2 loss to the Blue Jays

Workman (1-3, 4.13 ERA) was sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket on July 8 following an 8-3 loss to the White Sox in which he gave up five runs (three earned) on eight hits over seven innings. After looking strong in his first eight starts this season, the righty struggled in his last three, allowing 13 earned runs over 18 innings.

Workman made three starts for Pawtucket following his demotion. He gave up five runs over 16 innings in the three outings. Four of those runs came July 13 in his first start since being sent down.

Wednesday will be Workman’s first career start against the Blue Jays. He tossed three innings of relief against Toronto on Aug. 14, 2013, giving up one run, two hits and two walks to go with four strikeouts.

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Xander Bogaerts’ 9th-inning HR a reminder that rookie can accomplish a lot in remainder of season

07.30.14 at 7:04 am ET
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Amidst the trade rumors and speculation surrounding the Red Sox, it’s easy to forget about what happened on the field Tuesday night.

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

Lost in the shuffle was Xander Bogaerts‘ solo home run, a drive into the Monster seats on a 1-2 cutter from Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen. The shot brought the Red Sox within two runs in the ninth inning, but they would go down in order to end the contest.

Bogaerts finished the night with a pair of hits and a pair of strikeouts, extending his hitting streak to four games. It might not seem like much, but for a young player who has looked lost at the plate during points this summer, it’s progress.

The 21-year-old put together a dismal .106/.149/.159 line with two home runs (his only two extra-base hits) and six walks compared to 33 strikeouts over a stretch of 31 games from June 8 to July 19. While it’s a notably small sample size, he’s turned things around as of late, going 10-for-31 (a .323 average) over his last eight games, dating back to the beginning of the Red Sox‘ last road trip. He’s put together three multi-hit showings over that span. Has something begun to click for Bogaerts?

“I’m just trying to put a good swing on the ball, trying to drive the ball instead of just touching it,” Bogaerts said of his recent performance.

Maybe it’s working. Bogaerts has just three extra-base hits over his last 33 games, but two of those have come in the last week.

While he’s hit for a higher average over the last week or so, the problems that have plagued him over the course of the season remain. The glaring lack of walks and the uptick in strikeouts stands out. He’s fanned in 28 percent of plate appearances over the last 33 games, while he’s worked just four free passes. He’s gone without a walk in his last nine contests.

But while the season may feel like a bit of a lost cause with the Red Sox so far out of playoff contention, two months is a good chunk of time for Bogaerts to turn around his rookie campaign. Tuesday night represented a good start. With the Red Sox out of the postseason hunt, the remaining 46 games of the season will give them a chance to get a good look at some young players, Bogaerts included.

“Two months of the season left you can do a lot,” Bogaerts said. “It’s just a matter of time and putting up good at-bats.”

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Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz react to Jon Lester’s potential departure: ‘We’re not teammates, we’re family’

07.30.14 at 12:49 am ET
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The atmosphere in the Red Sox clubhouse was eerily somber following the team’s 4-2 loss at the hands of the Blue Jays Tuesday night. However, this aura of disappointment was not due to the numbers on the scoreboard, but rather the growing realization that one of the Red Sox‘ most beloved players might not be at his locker the following morning.

Red Sox manager John Farrell confirmed after the game that Jon Lester, who has been the focus of trade rumors for the past few weeks, would not make his scheduled start Wednesday, further adding to the belief that the southpaw’s days in Boston are numbered. One general manager told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that a deal could be struck as soon as Wednesday morning.

While Lester’s performance on the mound (10-7, 2.52 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) will be difficult for Boston to replicate if he is indeed dealt, the possibility of losing the lefty’s presence in the clubhouse struck a much deeper chord with some of his teammates.

For veteran leaders like Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz, the impact of Lester’s potential departure goes far beyond the box score.

“It’s tough. We’re not teammates, we’re family,” Pedroia said. “It’s something that you don’t like going through.  It makes you feel worse. We don’t want to be in this position. … We should be adding instead of subtracting, so hopefully he’s here.”

Pedroia continued: “We’ve got a big game to play and we want him pitching it. … It would be tough to see him in another uniform.”

Said Ortiz: “Lester is like a brother to me. [Pedroia] was right, we’ve been together for a long period of time. Just because of the fact that all of these trade rumors are going around and him being scratched tomorrow, it can get a little complicated. We’ll see how that works.”

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Read More: David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Red Sox

As talks advance, Red Sox scratch Jon Lester; Brandon Workman to start Wednesday

07.29.14 at 10:41 pm ET
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Jon Lester has been scratched from his scheduled start on Wednesday, and could be dealt by Wednesday morning. (AP)

Jon Lester has been scratched from his scheduled start on Wednesday, and could be dealt by Wednesday morning. (AP)

With trade winds blowing around Jon Lester, the Red Sox have scratched the left-hander from his scheduled start on Wednesday against the Blue Jays. The team will recall Brandon Workman from Triple-A Pawtucket.

“In light of all the uncertainty surrounding Jon Lester, it’s probably in everyone’s best interests that he does not make that start, so Brandon will be recalled,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Blue Jays. “There will be a corresponding move roster-wise at some point tomorrow.”

That corresponding move, of course, could be a trade that sends Lester elsewhere. The 30-year-old — amidst a season in which he’s 10-7 with a 2.52 ERA — represents one of the foremost chips on the market.

One general manager who has checked in with the Red Sox said that it was looking like a deal would be done either on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Industry sources suggest that some teams that had been involved in talks for the pitcher are exiting the running for his services, including the two AL East teams — the Orioles and Blue Jays — that had been kicking the tires on the pitcher.

UPDATE (11:19 p.m.): According to an industry source, multiple teams remain involved in negotiations about a potential Lester trade, suggesting that a deal is not yet in place.

Read More: Brandon Workman, Jon Lester,

Closing Time: Rubby De La Rosa’s dominance at home ends as Red Sox fall to Blue Jays

07.29.14 at 10:13 pm ET
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In what has been a Jekyll-and-Hyde season for Red Sox starter Rubby De La Rosa, an unsightly 6.04 road ERA (four starts) has been balanced by a stellar track record in the friendly confines of Fenway Park.

Rubby De La Rosa

Rubby De La Rosa

Entering Tuesday’€™s game against Toronto, De La Rosa had compiled a 3-0 record with a 1.38 ERA in four starts at Fenway –€“ the lowest home ERA of any AL pitcher with at least four home starts this season.

Unfortunately for De La Rosa and the slumping Red Sox, the young right-hander could not add to his impressive track record at home Tuesday night, as De La Rosa and the Sox fell to the Blue Jays, 4-2.

De La Rosa improved from his previous outing against Toronto Thursday (seven runs over four innings) but still labored on the mound, surrendering three earned runs on nine hits in six innings of work. After compiling a 2.64 ERA in his first seven starts this season, De La Rosa has posted an ERA of 8.10 in his last two outings.

At the plate, the Boston lineup could do little against Toronto starter Marcus Stroman. The 23-year-old –€“ who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his last outing against Boston last Thursday –€“ held the Red Sox to just one run and five hits over seven innings.

After scoring a season-high 14 runs on July 21, the Red Sox have only scored 17 runs over their last eight games.

The Blue Jays managed to add an insurance run in the top of the ninth off of Junichi Tazawa, and while Xander Bogaerts hit a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth, the Blue Jays were able to hold the lead and seal the victory.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 48-59 and have lost seven of their last eight games.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

– One of De La Rosa’€™s strengths this season has been his ability to maneuver out of jams with little to no damage reflected on the scoreboard. Entering Tuesday’€™s game, opponents were hitting jut .158 (3-for-19) with two outs and RISP against De La Rosa this season.

De La Rosa could not continue that trend Tuesday, as the 25-year-old righty surrendered an RBI double to Toronto’€™s No. 9 hitter, Anthony Gose, in the fourth inning, scoring Colby Rasmus and Juan Francisco from second and third, respectively.

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Read More: Blue Jays, Marcus Stroman, Red Sox, rubby de la rosa
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