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Source: Marlins, Orioles were most aggressive in pursuit of Jon Lester

07.31.14 at 11:31 pm ET
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According to a major league source, the Marlins and Orioles were perhaps the most aggressive in their pursuit of Jon Lester prior to Oakland wrapping up a deal for the lefty.

While there were a few media reports linking the Marlins to the Lester talks, Miami’s involvement might have been the most surprising of any team, with most of its attention was thought to be on acquiring Red Sox pitcher John Lackey, who, unlike Lester, has another year of control on his contract. Mike Redmond‘s team stands at 53-55, six games out in the National League East, and five games behind for the final wild card spot.

As of Tuesday night, a source confirmed that the Orioles were perceived to out of the hunt for Lester. But Baltimore looped back Wednesday, falling short, thanks in part to an inability to offer either the major league piece or minor league power hitter desired by the Red Sox.

As it turned out, all the teams heavily involved in the negotiations for Lester’s services (which also included the Pirates) were offering packages centered around prospects. With their farm system somewhat depleted, the A’s were the only club ready to make a major league-ready player the focal point of their offer.

In the end, the Lester deal was done when Oakland sent Yoenis Cespedes (and a competitive balance draft pick) for Lester and Jonny Gomes.

For more on the non-waiver trade deadline, go to weei.com/redsox.

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