Mariners, Orioles Have Inquired On Lester

Jon Lester has emerged as perhaps the most sought after name on the trade market, and there will be plenty of buzz about him in the next three days. We’ll track all of today’s Lester updates in this post…

  • The Red Sox are open to trading both Lester and Lackey for the right returns, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • Multiple major league sources tell Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that it looks as though the Red Sox’s decision to trade Lester will most likely be made close to the 3pm CT deadline on July 31st, with the likelihood of a deal gaining steam.  One source says the Red Sox are unlikely to re-engage in talks with Lester’s representatives prior to the deadline.
  • The Red Sox, major league sources tell Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe, have been informed what kind of contract Lester is seeking and that has coincided with the team putting its ace on the trade market.
  • The Red Sox are getting “hit hard” on both Lester and John Lackey, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link), and teams within the AL East are among those showing interest. Lackey’s contract contains a club option for the league minimum in 2015 that triggered after he missed a year of his current contract due to Tommy John surgery.
  • Indeed, Rosenthal’s colleague Jon Paul Morosi tweets that the Orioles have reached out to Boston to express interest in Lester. Baltimore certainly has the pitching depth to make a push for Lester, although they’ve shown a past reluctance to part with any of Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Hunter Harvey or Eduardo Rodriguez.
  • Rosenthal also tweets that the Mariners have inquired on Lester, who is a native of Tacoma. The M’s have been connected to David Price since the offseason, but Lester would come with a slightly lower cost of acquisition given his proximity to free agency. Seattle has plenty of minor league talent as well, though top pitching prospects Taijuan Walker and James Paxton have both dealt with injuries in 2014.


111 Responses to Mariners, Orioles Have Inquired On Lester Leave a Reply

  1. Karkat 11 months ago

    Orioles would have to pay out the nose to get Lester. The AL East intra-division trade tax is surely astronomical.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 11 months ago

      Not necessarily, the Red Sox are out of the race this year and Lester will be a FA after the season. The Red Sox will take the best offer wherever it comes from.

      • Karkat 11 months ago

        That’s a fair point, actually, since I guess they wouldn’t really be trading him to a “rival” given the current climate. Still, gotta imagine Ben asks for a little bit extra

        • JacobyWanKenobi 11 months ago

          Watch them just let him walk on a QO.

          • d-blaqueqq 11 months ago

            Nope. Someone is overpaying. We’ll just have to see.

        • CharlieMurphy 11 months ago

          Would be tough seeing him make a playoff run with the O’s, but would definitely sting a lot less if it meant snagging Bundy or Harvey. For all the pitching depth the Sox have, they don’t have potential front-line guys like the O’s do.

          • basemonkey 11 months ago

            I doubt the Os will trade their top prospects (Bundy, Gausman, Harvey, ERod) for a couple months. That would be hard to imagine considering all the rumored trades they passed on before concerning the same prospects.

          • CharlieMurphy 11 months ago

            I agree, just saying that the Sox probably won’t move him within the division unless one of those guys is involved.

          • basemonkey 11 months ago

            Well, it’s a bigger deal for us to trade those guys inside the division.

            With Lester, maybe he might get a start or two vs Boston as an Oriole in 2014. Then he hits free agency, and may resign with Boston anyways in 2015. The Orioles won’t sign him for the astronomical market rate he’s looking for. No real loss for Boston, since they’ll get him back, and considering they were in a losing year anyways, the couple starts he may have beat them is a small price.

            If we give up either Bundy or Gausman, and they turn out to be the Aces we think they’ll be, we’ll probably be facing them for years, if not their best years, maybe even their whole career.

          • CharlieMurphy 11 months ago

            You say that as if it’s a given that Bundy and Gausman will be HOFers.

            Lester leading the O’s to a World Series this year would be a PR nightmare for the Sox front office. That much is a given. Fans are already upset that ownership won’t re-sign him.. now they’re going to not resign him AND trade him to a divisional rival to boost their playoff run?

            I agree that Baltimore should be wary of trading that type of young talent within the division… Just saying that the Sox FO wouldn’t send him to Baltimore for anything less than that.

          • Jack Lee 11 months ago

            Then it won’t be happening if that’s the price.

          • KC781 11 months ago

            If they trade Lester you can be sure he will not return as a FA. The sox need to extend Lester and Lackey and build the rotation around them. Trade Buchholz & Ruby D.and turn over the BP with the exception of Uehara, Tazawa & Miller

          • Jack Lee 11 months ago

            Bundy and Harvey are untouchable. Lester is a two month rental, he gets a B prospect from the Orioles at most. Dan Duquette is not a stupid man.

        • CharlieMurphy 11 months ago

          Would be tough seeing him make a playoff run with the O’s, but would definitely sting a lot less if it meant snagging Bundy or Harvey. For all the pitching depth the Sox have, they don’t have potential front-line guys like the O’s do.

        • basemonkey 11 months ago

          Yeah, I’m not sure the usual inter-division stuff counts here.

          The net effect of trading inside the division will maybe be a 1-2 Lester starts this season vs the Sox, if that. He could just as much miss the Sox each time they square off too. Next season he’ll sign with the highest bidder and that likely won’t be the Orioles, who rarely gets into bidding wars for top free agents.

      • bkist 11 months ago

        Right but its going to be other teams competing against each other for Lester which would drive his value up. And considering that Price is essentially unavailable and Hamels is basically impossible to get, Lester is going to bring a lot back.

        • Danielle Rennifer 11 months ago

          James Paxton, Nick Franklin, Patrick Kivelhan, Gabriel Guerrero, and throw in Corey Hart (then goes to an NL team w/ the third team involved) to acquire Lester. Montero or Smoak can replace Napoli/Big Papi next year at first base/DH, while Lester returns home to pitch nearby his hometown by re-signing w/ the Mariners for couple to few years. Ortiz is hitting 25 home runs and 76 RBIs so far as it will be beneficial for the M’s to have his bat in the lineup. Perfect deal for both teams unless Red Sox is asking for better offer as a third team would also make sense.

          • Bob Bunker 11 months ago

            Wait are you saying the Red Sox are going to trade Ortiz?????

          • Danielle Rennifer 11 months ago

            Yeah, another option is sending Gomes to the Mariners instead of Big Papi.

          • bkist 11 months ago

            Yeah Ortiz isnt getting traded. Ever.

    • MaineBaseball 11 months ago

      Agreed, you’d think it would take Bundy/Gausman+ and I doubt the O’s would want to give up a package like that to a rival for a player who is unlikely to re-sign in the offseason.

      • Matt_P102 11 months ago

        Look for the Red Sox to want something comparable to the Garza trade. That probably means Harvey, E-Rod and two C+ prospects.

        Os have enough to make that trade but can’t afford to lose that much.

        • Jack Lee 11 months ago

          No chance of that ever happening. They can ask all they want.

          • Matt_P102 11 months ago

            That’s what everyone said about the Garza trade. Someone will give it to them. Don’t think it will be Os though. Maybe Royals?

        • GetToTheChoppa 11 months ago

          Garza had 2 years of team control left. You’re not getting a Garza trade with less than a year left. They won’t even come close to that deal no matter who is the trade partner. Best offer they’ll get is kemp with the dodgers sending 50mill to help pay him and a prospect not in their top 10. Other than that Lester will just command a top 7-10 prospect of the farm system, 2 in the 16-20 range, and maybe one outside that. That’s if the teams desperate enough.

          • Dustroia15 11 months ago

            So less than the return on Peavy…makes sense.

          • GetToTheChoppa 11 months ago

            The Red Sox got 2 players in the peavy deal. Lester I said will command more (4+). Escobar has a 5.11 in AAA with way more hits than strike outs. Has more hits than innings too. Hembree I can’t find current stats on. Cause you know other farm systems have a guy like Escobar rated that high who’s pitched that bad. Sorry to burst your bubble but plenty of teams 7-10 guys are better prospects than what the giants gave up.

          • GetToTheChoppa 11 months ago

            The Red Sox got 2 players in the peavy deal. Lester I said will command more (4+). Escobar has a 5.11 in AAA with way more hits than strike outs. Has more hits than innings too. Hembree I can’t find current stats on. Cause you know other farm systems have a guy like Escobar rated that high who’s pitched that bad. Sorry to burst your bubble but plenty of teams 7-10 guys are better prospects than what the giants gave up.

          • GetToTheChoppa 11 months ago

            Case in point- if the dodgers trade yimi Garcia who’s in AAA as well he’s a reliever his numbers definitely better than Escobar. Without question yet he’s not in the dodgers top 10.

          • Matt_P102 11 months ago

            Garza was traded a number of times. The time I’m referring to is last year when he was traded to the Rangers (by the Cubs) with half a year of control remaining. They received a top 30 prospect in Edwards, a good prospect in Olt and two other prospects.

    • mstrchef13 11 months ago

      The Red Sox can’t sign Lester to the deal he wants, or else they already would have. So, would they rather have a very good AA prospect and a good with a chance to be very good A prospect or a draft pick in the 31-40 range in next year’s draft? I think they would rather have the guys who are currently playing. I would, if I were the Sox GM.

      • dc21892 11 months ago

        They can sign him to it, they don’t want to. There’s a big difference.

        • mstrchef13 11 months ago

          Can’t, won’t, doesn’t matter. If they were willing, it would have already happened. That was my point.

  2. max 11 months ago

    I doubt Lester gets traded within the division. Orioles do have the pieces, but I doubt they’d be willing to pay it.

    • snowbladerp14 11 months ago

      the division thing doesnt really matter here. If they trade lester they are saying they arent trying to compete this year and if thats the case they could just sign lester as a free agent after the season

  3. Antonio Alexsander langston 11 months ago

    No surprise the O’s are after Lester considering the way he’s performed against them basically his whole career.

    • Karkat 11 months ago

      Second best ERA (2.78) among opponents he’s faced at least 5 times. And he’s faced Baltimore TWENTY SEVEN times.

      • Eric Mack 11 months ago

        But what has his stats been the last 2 years? I think it’s more of an indication of how bad the O’s are vs how good he is.

        • snowbladerp14 11 months ago

          the Os are a top 5 team in baseball right now a lot better than the red sox

        • ChasCaps 11 months ago

          exactly, his first 22 starts against the O’s, they were arguably the worst team in baseball. Now that we have a MUCH better team he isn’t doing as well. Pretty sure he didn’t lose in his first 20 starts against the O’s. We got our first win against him within the last 2 years

          • basemonkey 11 months ago

            Those were very weak-hitting teams.

            His pre-2012 stats just say that Lester dominated players like Jeff Conine, Luis Matos, Larry Bigbie, etc and other guys who never established themselves as even average majorleaguers.

          • Rabbitov 11 months ago

            You are off in your years on O’s players. Conine, Matos, and Bigbie were all early 2000s. Also Conine was a decent major leaguer.

            Orioles actually had a decent lineup in 2011. Its really the pre-MacPhail era where the lineup was as good as a BAD AAA team.

            2001 which I believe was Cal’s last year, is probably the worst team the Orioles fielded in my lifetime. Take a look if you dare.

        • basemonkey 11 months ago

          Yeah, all the pre-2012 matchups are a completely different animal. Those were pushover teams filled with stop gaps or AAA filler.

    • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 11 months ago

      If only to not have to face him again, it would be a good deal for them!

  4. Eric Mack 11 months ago

    The Red Sox have to have confirmation from Lester that he’ll come back and re-sign in the off-season. Not sure why else they’d give him up w/ the chance of losing him to another team.

    • MaineSox 11 months ago

      Because they don’t think they’ll be able to re-sign him, and trading him for prospects is better than losing him for a draft pick.

    • ugotrpk3113 11 months ago

      If you’re familiar with this ownership, they’ve decided that they can be a big market team full of middling veterans at cheap contracts. They’ve apparently decided that paying for proven commodities is a mistake.

      • nightmarerec0n 11 months ago

        Proven comedity? Lester had a ERA over 4.00 from 2011-2013. He completely lost the release point on his Curve ball and the movement on his cutter and it took him 2 YEARS to make an adjustment

        • ugotrpk3113 11 months ago

          Seems to have worked, no?

          • nightmarerec0n 11 months ago

            It isn’t encourage when a 30 starter takes 2 years to make an adjustment considering pitching,especially late on, is all about adjustments./

  5. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 11 months ago

    I would still rather have Cashner or Quintana.
    I just can’t see Lester in an Orioles uniform.
    I really can’t.

    Plus, think of the Rivalry! Think of the Rivalry!

    • mstrchef13 11 months ago

      Thinking of the rivalry. Wouldn’t it be great to have Lester beat the Red Sox on Saturday 9/20 to clinch the AL East, then have him beat the Yankees on Thursday 9/25 to ruin Derek Jeter Day at Yankee Stadium?

  6. Ben 11 months ago

    The Mariners are “in” on everyone…But move on nobody.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 11 months ago

      They should match up well with the Phillies’ always available and never traded players.

    • Overbrook 11 months ago

      They need a right handed hitter. The Ms seem to have a lot of good young pitchers, catchers, and a few other players. I’m a casual Ms fan and don’t really care about their “future” per se so I’d like to see them make a deal for a bat.

  7. bigbadjohnny 11 months ago

    Edwin Jackson anyone?

  8. d-blaqueqq 11 months ago

    Looks like Lester wants BIG MONEY next year, it’s doubtful that he’ll come back.

  9. mstrchef13 11 months ago

    The problem with trading for Lester is that the teams who are “in” on him won’t really be able to compete on the open market for him in the offseason, which limits what they might be willing to give up. I could see the O’s giving up Eduardo Rodriguez in a deal, but not Gausman, Bundy, or Hunter. Maybe they could throw in Ubaldo and cover half his salary.

    • NomarGarciaparra 11 months ago

      why is that?

      • mstrchef13 11 months ago

        Why is what?

        • NomarGarciaparra 11 months ago

          “The problem with trading for Lester is that the teams who are “in” on him won’t really be able to compete on the open market for him in the offseason”

          • SierraM363 11 months ago

            Didn’t stop the Brewers when they traded for CC though.

          • mstrchef13 11 months ago

            Because a team like the Orioles is highly unlikely to retain him as a free agent, and cannot make him a QO, he is definitely a rental. Therefore, the O’s are unlikely to be willing to give up the top prospects that a player of Lester’s caliber would ordinarily warrant. Makes it a tough fit, and Boston has to decide if the prospects they get are worth more to them than the draft pick in the 30s they would get next year.

    • SierraM363 11 months ago

      Yea, no thanks.

  10. ugotrpk3113 11 months ago

    Pitching prospects? Maybe the Red Sox can have a 8 man rotation in 3 years. And our 3rd/4th hitter can hit 250 with 10 HRs.

    • SierraM363 11 months ago

      Maybe if management was a little more aggressive and out bid the White Sox for Abreu in the offseason.

      • EarlyMorningBoxscore 11 months ago

        they were in the middle of this thing called the World Series.

        • SierraM363 11 months ago

          World Series was over buddy.

          • thebanner 11 months ago

            Abreu signed with the White Sox on October 17th, the World Series ran from the 23rd to the 31st.

          • SierraM363 11 months ago

            I stand corrected. But I still think they should’ve been more aggressive. According to the Herald article we were outbid by 5 million

            y:

            Scott Lauber

            Think Cuban sensation Jose Abreu would fit well behind David Ortiz in the middle of the Red Sox’ batting order?

            It nearly happened.

            The Sox were aggressive in their pursuit of Abreu, submitting multiple offers and ultimately falling less than $5 million short of winning the bidding for the 27-year-old first baseman. He ended up signing a six-year, $68 million contract with the Chicago White Sox in October, and his 27 home runs trails only Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz (28) for the major league lead.

          • Danielle Rennifer 11 months ago

            Both Cruz & Ortiz (on another team fighting in the wild card race after struggling against Cruz’s O’s team over the weekend) will be a good showdown if they both meet in ALDS and wins the one game wild card playoff.

          • bkist 11 months ago

            I dont blame them at all. It was the middle of the playoffs with Napoli an impending free agent, How would it have looked if they signed Abreu while they were still playing?

          • SierraM363 11 months ago

            The Red Sox didn’t seem too concerned by all accounts. They liked Abreu’s power and were close to acquiring him.

            That Red Sox team was pretty solid. They were focused on the World Series run. Nap would’ve taken it like a pro imo.

          • EarlyMorningBoxscore 11 months ago

            Only it wasn’t.

        • SierraM363 11 months ago

          Management didn’t seem to mind bidding for him during the World Series run, so I don’t think it was a factor.

  11. CharlieMurphy 11 months ago

    Love hearing that the Mariners are involved as a Sox fan. I feel like their FO could overpay at the deadline for a guy like Lester now that they’ve lost a little ground in the WC race. A fair deal could be something like Peterson, Guerrero, Wilson, and Diaz for Lester, Gomes + $$

    • David King 11 months ago

      No way the M’s do that

      • CharlieMurphy 11 months ago

        Well value wise you’re talking about a borderline top 50 guy (who IMO should be ranked a lot higher), and 3 high ceiling guys who are outside of the top 100 and a ways away from the big leagues. That’s not exactly highway robbery on Boston’s end, but historically Jack would never make this move, I agree… though his reluctance to move any prospects or pull the trigger on trades in general has landed him on the hot seat. If they don’t make the playoffs this year, there’s a decent chance it will be another GM in Seattle reaping the rewards of his prized prospects.

    • mstrchef13 11 months ago

      I don’t think that Seattle has the financial wherewithal to make that deal.

      • Danielle Rennifer 11 months ago

        Unless if Corey Hart is included in a three team trade to an NL team w/ a player to be named or two going to the Red Sox.

      • CharlieMurphy 11 months ago

        Yeah I’m sure the Sox would have to send $ as part of that deal if it were to work out.

  12. basemonkey 11 months ago

    The Os just won’t do this:

    2 month playoff run with Lester. Won’t resign.

    FOR

    A career’s worth of facing a possible future Ace in Gausman or Bundy against a division rival.

    • SierraM363 11 months ago

      Do you think they have a good chance to win the WS this year? If not, then they shouldn’t do it.

    • snowbladerp14 11 months ago

      gausman bundy harvey walker should be off the table if they can get it done without those players (probably not) they should pull the trigger

    • Rabbitov 11 months ago

      What other teams want and what they’ll get are two different things. With that said the O’s are inquiring on everyone who is available.

      • basemonkey 11 months ago

        Agreed. We’ve seen Duquette turn down comparable players to Lester asking for the same prospects, but more controllable years. I don’t see why he’d cave now for just two months.

  13. Tyler Jedrzejak 11 months ago

    I think one of those top prospects, probably rodriguez + a mid level prospect and the red sox jump on it. Baltimore isnt going to pay to have him back and the Red Sox get a decent return

    • Quipex 11 months ago

      If the Orioles are going to trade one of their top prospects, I’m pretty sure it won’t be for a two month rental of Lester. As an O’s fan, I wouldn’t mind a trade of Bundy for an established effective starter with several years of team control, but I don’t want anything to do with Lester unless it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than one of the top prospects. I don’t think Lester gets them to the World Series any quicker than what they already have.

      • mstrchef13 11 months ago

        As an O’s fan, I would trade Rodriguez and a mid-level prospect (let’s call him Cisco) for Lester right now. I would drive Rodriguez and Cisco to their future destinations, then drive to Boston to pick up Lester and bring him to Baltimore. I don’t think Lester necessarily helps them win the AL East any more than what they already have (although he probably does), but I definitely think he helps to get them to the World Series.

        • Quipex 11 months ago

          I’m still holding out for a blockbuster to get Chris Sale! :)

          • Rabbitov 11 months ago

            I hope you have a Snickers

          • mstrchef13 11 months ago

            I don’t see any chance of the White Sox trading Sale. He’s under team control until 2019.

          • Quipex 11 months ago

            One can dream…

        • Rabbitov 11 months ago

          No way I’d trade Cisco right now. Catching prospects are worth a ton, and his value could continue to skyrocket.

          • SierraM363 11 months ago

            The Red Sox have 2 catching prospects they are high on. Do you guys have any power hitting outfield top prospects?

          • Rabbitov 11 months ago

            Dariel Alvarez and Mike Yazstremski are probably the two closest things to that, but they aren’t top prospects. O’s have been fairly unimpressive in growing power from the farm over the past 10 years.

      • Tyler Jedrzejak 11 months ago

        instead the ytraded one of their top prospects for a reliver

  14. godewey 11 months ago

    Lester said he would have signed if the Sox would have offered him one dollar more than Bailey. IMO Bailey is over paid. I don’t think Boston was ever going to give Lester over 20 million a year. This is by far his best season. He has no history of doing this for several seasons in a row. They are not in a position like Tampa. They can ask for whatever they want. If they don’t get it, they have him for another year.
    Sox will ask for the most they can but will probably take the best offer they get within reason.

  15. bobmac 11 months ago

    So Rosenthal and Morosi come out with a hit piece on Jack Z and then put a Boston PR piece out right afterwards.Hmmm, wonder who was their source on the hit piece?

  16. stl_cards16 11 months ago

    I have a feeling Lackey is the Cardinals target. Don’t know why, just a feeling.

    • Bob Bunker 11 months ago

      I can’t see the Red Sox trading Lackey unless they are 100 percent committed to bringing Lester back no matter the cost. If they trade Lackey + Lester or trade Lackey and let Lester leave as a FA their rotation would be injury prone Clay and 4 unproven/average FA guys.

      What do you think would be a fair return for Lackey? Also, I think the Cards really match up for Lester as well.

      • SierraM363 11 months ago

        Not looking forward to Clay being our SP veteran if we trade Lester + Lackey

      • godewey 11 months ago

        I can’t see the Cards giving top prospects for a rental. Lackey as a
        pitcher a mid tier prospect , but with that contract it would have to be
        an upper prospect. wouldn’t it ? If Boston doesn’t get what they want
        they keep him, They really can’t lose in this scenario.

    • godewey 11 months ago

      With Lackey’s contract next year he would be a steal for any team.
      Wonder what teams are offering for him ?

    • dc21892 11 months ago

      With his bargain contract next season who would St. Louis realistically be willing to move if they did want him?

      • bryce1344 11 months ago

        Grichuk and Miller for Lackey and Middlebrooks ? Miller could then be used in a deal for Hamels

  17. I can’t see the Orioles trading what it would take to get Lester

  18. Probably not all that likely, but I’d love to see Lester in Pittsburgh

  19. Woody 11 months ago

    Wouldn’t want Lester at any price as his attitude would be a major disruption to the great chemistry in our dugout/clubhouse.

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