Braves Inquired About Jon Lester

The Braves are seeking pitching help prior to the trade deadline, and MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports that they recently called the Red Sox about Jon Lester. Boston is not yet looking to sell, something we heard earlier this month.

"Pitching is at a premium," said GM Frank Wren. "It's so hard to get pitching because there are a limited amount of guys. There are a lot of guys being bantered around out there, and they're not really available because teams have not determined whether they're in or out. In some cases, they haven't determined whether they can sign them or not. It's really a tough market."

Lester, 28, is in the middle of the worst full season of his career. His 4.80 ERA is more than a full run higher than his 3.67 career mark, and his strikeout rate (7.6 K/9) is his lowest since 2008. The good news is that his 2.6 BB/9 is a career-best. Lester is owed $11.625MM next season with a $13MM club option for 2014.

Bowman says the Braves appear to be much more interested in Zack Greinke than Ryan Dempster, but they will not mortgage the future for a rental player. Atlanta is also in the market for bullpen help and Bowman opines that they may check in former Brave Omar Infante.


84 Responses to Braves Inquired About Jon Lester Leave a Reply

  1. WisBrave 3 years ago

    I would love to see Omar back in a Braves uniform !!

  2. Leonard Washington 3 years ago

    Jon would pull a major AJ Burnett if he switched to the NL. Hope he stays though he will see better days.

  3. Guest 3 years ago

    Lester for Julio Tehran and Sean Gilmartin? Probably too much, but an idea.

  4. I read aquired, I couldnt believe it haha.

  5. Kyle Hamilton 3 years ago

    hope we unload Lester and beckett

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      As someone who enjoys following prospects as much, or more, than the majors, I wouldn’t be against them trading Lester and/or Beckett in general, but I wouldn’t call it “unloading” to get rid of your two best pitchers, and it would have to be for a substantial return (and both guys are having down years, so that would be hard to get since you would be selling low on them, which is never a good idea).

      It would also essentially mean throwing in the towel on this season, and probably next. And at that point you also try to trade Ortiz, Ellsbury, and anyone else with any value at all who isn’t under control for several more years (Ross, Aviles, Sweeney, Shoppach, and several relievers).

      • ugotrpk3113 3 years ago

        I think at some point, it’s time to think about rebuilding anyway. If we can get Delgado or Teheran in a trade for Lester, it gaps that rebuild since both are major league ready now.

        Ellsbury, I’ve said a lot on this board, SHOULD be traded for a SP if possible. It would be such a smart move considering they won’t be in the market for him when he is a FA and his value won’t be higher.

        • MaineSox 3 years ago

          I don’t think right now is the time to trade any of these guys though because all of their values are at a low point for various reasons.

          • ugotrpk3113 3 years ago

            Well Lester, yes. Ellsbury I think is still in that “twilight” from last year.

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            Maybe, but he’s also just back from an injury, so I think it makes more sense to try to move him in the offseason (other teams are going to be skeptical that last year was at all real, so take a chance on him playing well for the rest of this year, and even if he doesn’t his value wont go down a lot because they are already working on the assumption that he’s not really that player).

          • ugotrpk3113 3 years ago

            That’s true – Better value when 30 teams may be interested instead of 15 or so.

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            exactly

          • LazerTown 3 years ago

            I’m not even sure Ellsbury can reproduce last year.

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            No, I don’t think he can either, but all he has to do is play well for the rest of the year and show he is healthy.

          • LazerTown 3 years ago

            I still think that he has pretty good trade value now if they wanted to trade him. It’s just that if they think that he is a 30 hr speedy leadoff type then they won’t get the value they want, and a team would be nuts to give up that cost, he never had the projections for 30 hr; if he repeats ill believe it, until then he is a 10 hr speedy leadoff.

      • I dont understand why people want to trade Jacoby? He’s a 5 tool player and probably the player who brings the most fans. (Big Papi, Pedroia, Ellsbury) He is a lot of sox fans favorite player. He is so much fun to watch and performs at a high level. We will have money at that point and we could look to trade Crawford and lock up Ellsbury who is more productive (at this point) and a little younger/more exciting. He will not cost CC money and we will have Dice K off the books, Beckett/Lester following after, Big Papi possibly two more seasons and John Lackey closer to the end of his contract. There are ways we could keep Ellsbury and I believe Cherington has a plan too and will make it happen! I don’t think we will trade Ellsbury. Jackie Bradley Jr is VERY similar to CC not Ellsbury, making CC expendable. Just my opinion. I think we need to lock Ellsbury up ASAP.

        • MaineSox 3 years ago

          Ellsbury is going to test free agency, so locking him up before then isn’t really an option, and I think most people assume that he will end up somewhere else once he hits free agency. He is from the west coast, so people assume that he would prefer playing closer to home, and Boston sets a value on a player of what they think they are worth and seldom goes a penny over that, so all it will take is one team valuing Ellsbury higher and he’s gone (and some assume that with the way things have happened in the past he would take an offer from another team even if they just matched the Red Sox offer).

          The fact that they have JBJ who will be ready at some point next year only serves to fuel the speculation about him being traded.

          (Bradley is nothing like Crawford, and he’s not much more similar to Ellsbury; he’s a high OBP guy with averagish speed who can steal 20ish bases based on instincts and smart base running)

          • Crucisnh 3 years ago

            MaineSox, I think that you’re right on the money with your comments above. It becomes clear to me that many people just don’t understand the business of baseball.

        • Crucisnh 3 years ago

          If you don’t understand why people are talking about trading Ellsbury, then you really, REALLY do not understand the BUSINESS of baseball. Seriously!

          If you think that Ellsbury is going to sign an extension, you’re crazy.
          Ellsbury and Boras have made it eminently clear that he is going to test the free agent waters after 2013. And the chances that he re-signs with the Sox are quite low, IMO. The best way to maximize the return on losing Ellsbury is to trade him before the start of next season, so that the acquiring team is able to keep the comp pick if/when Ells hits free agency.,

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

        Problem even if they decided to go into rebuild mode is the major prospects (other than Lavarnway) are at least a year and a half away, other than maybe Jackie bradley and even pushing him, he’s still at least a full season away.

        Not a good idea to try and move *your* players for someone’s prospects and expect them to be what you have watched fully for several seasons mature in (this case) the Red Sox system.. Teams hold onto the prizes and will hype the busts.. Andy Marte comes to mind, Wes Gardner another.

        Think long and hard before going into rebuild mode without multiple top candidates ready to step right in at the AA and AAA levels you are certain are ready and have watched for several seasons under your own instructors eyes.. An ellsbury, Bucholz, Bard, Lowrie and Masterson who helped out within a couple years of each other.

        I wouldn’t mind moving some pieces myself who are not fits and won’t be resigned, plus have positive trade value.. The Salty’s they have Lavarnway ready to step in for and Salty still has a full season of control left.

        Check and see how much of beckett’s deal they would have to pay and what, if anything they could get. see if they could get a top prospect for lester perhaps. If so? Then contemplate moving, but only if they can get back a tremendous prospect package in return.

        Move Ellsbury before the 7/31 deadline since he is showing is fully healthy and should draw back something nice with a season and a half of control *if* the return is nice.

        There would sill be ways that the saved money could be redistributed in the off season. Sanchez still even. Saved money at catcher with Lavarnway.

  6. ugotrpk3113 3 years ago

    I sincerely hope the Red Sox think about this. The Braves have a couple of young arms that have already touched the majors that would be trading Lester for.

    I’m all for the Sox trying to sell. Let’s do it!

  7. Delgado, Spruill, and Pastornicky for Lester. Delgado the centerpiece, Spruill a good young arm, and Pastornicky would give Boston a potential future SS. More or less for Lester?

    • ugotrpk3113 3 years ago

      I don’t think the Sox are interested in a SS. Unless their scouting of Iglesias has fallen sour.

      • MaineSox 3 years ago

        Even then, I don’t think they’d be all that interested in Pastornicky. He doesn’t even hit as well as Aviles and his defense is worse.

        • WisBrave 3 years ago

          Pastornicky is more of a utility player. Better suited for 2nd or CF than SS. He should’ve started the year in AAA. But the Braves were strapped on the budget and didn’t have much of a choice. Once his bat catches up he should hit .260-.270ish. He is a good base runner but not very aggressive, could swipe 20 or so bases given enough playing time. He would interest the Brewers a lot more the Red Sox.

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            Right, I don’t think he’s a terrible player or anything, but he’s more of a utility type, and wouldn’t interest the Red Sox much at all.

  8. Trade the whole staff if you are going to trade Lester. 1 bad year and everyone is jumping off the Tobin Bridge. Do what the fans want right… not what the team needs. hell that’s what they did with Tito. Quick Cherryboy listen to the fans and the Boston media…hurry hurry sell sell sell!

  9. saidin09 3 years ago

    Im a Big Red Sox fan (yes, still), but I am also a fan of baseball and know Atlanta has some nice young arms to be had for a Jon Lester. Time for Ben to prove he’s not Theo Epstein Jr. and improve this team!

  10. saidin09 3 years ago

    We ARE a .500 team. If we have the most runs scored in the league and a very good pen, its telling you we need pitching. 2 or 3 out of 5 pitchers is not doing a good job thats why we go an a winning streak then go on alosing streak, win lose, win lose.

  11. saidin09 3 years ago

    Beckett has to go, he does not have much value right now, but the team buying might really really want him and be in NEED and overpay we see this all the time. Trade Lester although I’d rather keep him and get rid of the inconsistent Buccholz. Put Ellsbury and Middlebrooks in separate packages fo a #1, a #2 and prospects. Have Doubront as your #3, Morales as your#4, Call up Lavarnway, He played OF early in his career, Move over Aviles, call up Iglesias for SS, try, get Papi back

    • Crucisnh 3 years ago

      Trading WMB away is just plain NUTS!!! If I had to choose between trading away WMB and Lavarnway, I’d trade Lavarnway, because the Sox have Salty, who much as people may not like aspects of his game, actually IS an above average catcher within the scope of the current weak crop of MLB catchers. OTOH, the Sox really do not have a good plan B for 3B. WMB has been the 3B-man of the Sox future for a year or 2, and trading him away now would be outright NUTS!!!

      As for Iglesias, they can trade him away in a heartbeat. The Sox do not need the 21st century version of Mark Belanger playing SS!!!

      • saidin09 3 years ago

        We need at least 2 front line starting pitchers, including at least one ace(Ya know, a P who does not consistently give back the lead) which we don’t have. Ells and WMB, in separate packages will get you an ace or 2 without destroying your farm. You just won’t get as much for Lavarnway. Ells is gone anyways. If Ells or WMB nets you a Felix Hernandez, you do it, right away.

        • Crucisnh 3 years ago

          No, WMB is 100% untouchable. Period. End of discussion.

          • saidin09 3 years ago

            I don’t disagree with you, but like I said, you got to give something”of value” to get something of value” . I remember a time we gave up an “untouchable” player, HanRam, that turned out pretty good, don’t you think….btw our current GM had his hand in that deal.

          • Crucisnh 3 years ago

            Not the same thing. Hanley was still a minor leaguer at the time, while WMB is now the team’s 3B-man. A more legit comparison would be comparing Hanley to Bogearts.

          • saidin09 3 years ago

            WMB just took over 3rd, so in essence, yeah it’s pretty close to the same thing and i think Bogaerts could end up at 3B. Love WMB, but he K’s too much has a low BB rate. Is this the Crusis from PSD? I love reading your IGTs and posts. I hope WMB does not get traded but I have a feeling he may be trade bait. If we keep him , I hope he practices a little more patience at the plate.

  12. saidin09 3 years ago

    Dodgers can have Garza, dont feel like getting destroyed in a trade with Theo

  13. We already have plenty of arms for the rotation next year. Where will Lester Fit?
    Hudson
    Hanson
    Beachy
    Sheets(assuming we re-sign him)
    Jurrjens
    Delgado
    Minor
    Teheran
    and Medlen if needed

    Maybe send Jurrjens and Delgado for Lester??

    • rundmc1981 3 years ago

      It’s safe to say that Beachy won’t pitch much of the year, if any. Hudson has an affordable option ($9M, $1M buyout), and Jurrjens is 3rd-year arb eligible, which means he needs to be gone. And it’s quite an assumption that Sheets re-signs with ATL. Yes, we gave him a shot, but don’t be surprised if he bolts for a good opportunity and a decent pay day if he continues these strong starts.

    • Nick, Are you serious? Lester would fit right at the top of that list. Lester would become the Brave #1 in the rotation.

    • tomymogo 3 years ago

      Jurrjens will get non-tendered, and Braves need a proven ace, Teheran, Delgado and Minor have been inconsistent. Medlen will be in the bullpen. Sheets is no sure thing

  14. Leonard Washington 3 years ago

    Cherington has said the Sox don’t rebuild and I agree. We don’t sell low on Lester and Beckett like we did with Youk and basically give away a major piece for nothing. Both are FAR more valuable to us staying then anything we would get in return. If they are going to make a move it should be just one of them, and be done in the off season if we miss the playoffs AND only if the intent is to go after another big pitcher. Doubront will probably continue to improve if we can get a Grienke or Hamels to add to Lester or Beckett I would be down for that. We are still very much in it for the playoffs right now.

    • right … and the Red Sox didn’t go 100 years without winning a World Series either … “don’t rebuild” … bull s … h … i … t!

      The Red Sox aren’t the Steel Curtain of baseball. They’re delusional if they think they are anything but sellers this year.

      Red Sox should be entertaining offers left and right to put together a winning team for next year.

  15. saidin09 3 years ago

    The Sox uually have to play catch up with Beckett pitching and have to score alot of runs with Buccholz. Somone will give you good value for these two. Then trade for a couple front line right handed starting pitchers and put them in with lefties Lester, Felix, and maybe Morales

  16. saidin09 3 years ago

    You think Lavarnway is going to net us a front-line SP? I may be a Sox fan, but I’m no idiot. I know it takes something to get something. Ells package will net you an ace, preferably a RHP, and WMB package may get you the same, or at least a bona fide #2 SP with a minimum amount of prospects……getting a#1 or#2 w/out one of these guys will take a boatload of prospects. Like it or not we need pitching. We won’t win this year or next w/the rotation as is.

  17. This is the kind of name I want to see the Braves pursue. Up until now, I thought Greinke was the best name, but I would rather have Lester. I DO NOT want Dempster, Garza, Shields or any of those other mediocre pitchers in rumors.

  18. tomymogo 3 years ago

    I would love for the Braves to get Jon Lester. I know the guy is having a down year, but playing in Fenway and the AL East is tough. Now the NL East isn’t like the NL Central, but playing in turner field would help him get back to those CY Young caliber numbers.

    Now this is the trade I would do, Tommy Hanson, and Sean Gilmartin for Jon Lester. Hanson will be arb eligible next year, essentially being under team control until 2015. By acquiring Lester they will have a legit ace on the staff, a lefthanded power SP.

    In the offseason they could non-tender Jair Jurrjens and resign Ben Sheets to say 5.5 million + incentives(like reach 150 IP) worth 4.5 million.

    Jon Lester(11.625 million)
    Ben Sheets(10 million if he reaches 150IP)
    Tim Hudson(9 million)
    Mike Minor(500k)
    Randall Delgado(500k)

    Pretty solid

    • Hanson is a stud the future ace of the staff for a long time. Just because he gave up 14 runs the last few games isn’t indicative of what type of pitcher he is. The guy is a career 3.53 era and is only going to get better. I would keep him at least for a few more years while he’s still under control and if you can’t lock him up long term then dangle him at the trade deadline in 2014.

      • tomymogo 3 years ago

        Lester is better and Hanson is under team control until 2015, only one more year than Lester. Hanson is not an ace, Lester is(just not pitching like one this year)

      • Matt Newton 3 years ago

        I want to agree with you that Hanson is a future ace of the Braves, but I’ve just not seen it. His mechanics have been off and he’s just not doing a good job locating his pitches this year. He’s extremely inconsistent for this stage of this career. I don’t think the Braves should sign him to an extension and being able to trade him in order to get Lester would be a decent tradeoff. Thus the Braves wouldn’t have to deal with Boras.

        That being said, seems like Lester has been trending in the wrong direction as far as facing righties and I’m not sure if that’s a long-term concern or not.

        I’d propose something like Hanson, Spruilli, and one of the better position players for Lester.

        • tomymogo 3 years ago

          That’s too much, maybe even Hanson for Lester straight up

  19. Any deal with Atlanta has to include Teheran. He’s by far their best prospect.

  20. Kevin Sagui 3 years ago

    But Lester gets credit for still having full value?

  21. WisBrave 3 years ago

    That’s about what I was thinking but I would want to see Greinke make another start before Braves make any serious offers for him. Delgado/Minor deal centered around.

  22. rundmc1981 3 years ago

    Looks like his stock is already dropping. This trade proposal wouldn’t have flown at the AS Break.

  23. MaineSox 3 years ago

    No, but even Lester in a down year is worth more than Teheran and Gilmartin.

  24. rikersbeard 3 years ago

    Pretty sure that Pastornicky showed that he wasn’t MLB ready.

  25. tomymogo 3 years ago

    What is so wrong about Minor? Braves chose him over Delgado to stay in MLB rotation if that tells you anything

  26. MaineSox 3 years ago

    Lester has been one of the best LHP in the game for several years now, and is under control for 2 1/2 more years at a reasonable price; one down season isn’t going to bring his value down that much.

  27. Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

    He is and then some.

  28. Teheran is the 21st ranked prospect in baseball. And first on mlb.com. Him for Lester would be awful for the Braves.

  29. MaineSox 3 years ago

    Since 2008 Lester has been a top 10 pitcher in the game, and the 4th best lefty in the game (even including his down year this year) and is under control for 2 1/2 more years at a reasonable price, you don’t get that without giving up a lot.

  30. DunkinDonuts 3 years ago

    My apologies, I didn’t realize you had rankings from the Interwebz to support your position. I just checked the mlb.com prospect rankings, and I couldn’t even find Lester anywhere on the list. Then I checked baseball-reference.com and saw that Lester hasn’t even won a game in AAA since 2007. Had I been armed with this information, I would have suggested that the Red Sox offer Lester for a PTNBL and bit of salary relief.

  31. Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

    How is a PROSPECT for a #1 type starting pitcher under team control for 2 1/2 years awful for the Braves?

    Put Lester in the NL instead of the AL East and he’d be a monster.

  32. Mauck98 3 years ago

    For Lester To be dealt to Atlanta he would instantly jump the Braves up a notch in the pecking order.
    I as a deal like this makes a lot of sense for both clubs.

    Red sox get: Randall Delgado, Zeke Spruill, Corey gearrin, and Carlos Perez

    Braves get: Jon Lester & Cody Ross

  33. LayerCake 3 years ago

    Lol what?

  34. GreenCustom24 3 years ago

    Ross plays where, exactly?

    Don’t get me wrong. I’d actually be happy with such a trade. Getting another outfielder doesn’t make a ton of sense right now unless he’s purely a backup… And he’s having too good a year to become a backup.

  35. Matt Newton 3 years ago

    Don’t see Ross going to the Braves. I’m pretty sure he’s pissed off enough people in that organization from his time in SF and the recent series that while he’d be a nice addition, they’re not big on taking guys who have shown them up.

  36. Mauck98 3 years ago

    Ross takes diaz’s place as he is probably going to have have season ending surgery on his thumb. He can be a lefty masher and backup CF. plus he could be a potential candidate in CF next year or in LF.

  37. Well Diaz is currently injured and even with him our current backup plan for center field is Heyward/Pastornicky, Ross would probably play whenever Chipper was out with Prado playing the hot corner.

    But he did refuse Atlanta’s greater offer to play in Boston this offseason, so he’s probably not #1 on the Braves radar right now.

  38. CT 3 years ago

    Really? No chance Lester commands 3 of our top 4 pitching prospects. That’s a package you give for Kershaw, Price, or Felix, not Jon Lester.

  39. MB923 3 years ago

    lol good one

  40. esasc4 3 years ago

    Minor and a b prospect max

  41. MaineSox 3 years ago

    I know, how crazy is it to want more than one mediocre prospect and one guy who used to be a top prospect but whose stock is falling, for a guy who’s been one of the top pitchers in the game since ’08? “lol” right?

  42. LayerCake 3 years ago

    Hey 19 other people voted you down and agree with me. A package with 1 of Gilmartin/Teheran as the centerpiece I can see but both? Not happening

  43. MaineSox 3 years ago

    Like I care what 19 angry Braves fans think.

  44. rundmc1981 3 years ago

    Guess you didn’t watch Lester pitching batting practice to TOR today.

  45. LayerCake 3 years ago

    You must if you took the time to reply :)

  46. tomymogo 3 years ago

    When, I hope they non-tender him, an ERA over 6, making 5.5 million

  47. Matt Newton 3 years ago

    Agreed, I don’t know that he’ll be around much longer, especially after today’s performance.

  48. Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

    One start >>> His entire career.

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