With trade winds blowing around Jon Lester, the Red Sox have scratched the left-hander from his scheduled start on Wednesday against th

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.

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 by the Red Sox 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.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier

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.

In what has been a Jekyll-and-Hyde season for 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.

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 off of 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 pitcher -€“ who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his last outing against Boston 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 8 games.

The Blue Jays managed to add on an insurance run in the top of the ninth off of Junichi Tazawa, and while Xander Bogaerts added 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 on the year 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.

Mike Carp, starting at first in place of Mike Napoli, did little to impress any potential trade suitors as the July 31 trade deadline draws closer, finishing the night 0-for-3 at the plate. Carp is now hitting .198 on the year with no home runs and nine RBIs.

– Boston continued their season-long struggle of coming through with a clutch hit, as the Red Sox left eight runners on base against Toronto. Boston is hitting just .148 (7-for-48) with RISP over its last eight games.

WHAT WENT RIGHT WITH THE RED SOX

– After enduring a 0-for-17 skid from July 18 -€“ July 22, it seems like Dustin Pedroia has finally found his swing once again. Pedroia drove in Boston’€™s only run of the game in the third inning after lacing a 93mph fastball from Stroman off the Green Monster, scoring Brock Holt from second and tying the game, 1-1. The Sox second baseman finished the night 2-for-4 and has now hit safely in five of his last six games (.400, 8-for-20).

–  Holt returned to his productive ways at the top of the Red Sox lineup, going 2-for-5 with a double. Holt had been mired in a 1-for-23 (.043) slump entering Tuesday’s game.

Xander Bogaerts made things interesting in the ninth, blasting his eight home run of the season into the Green Monster seats off of Toronto closer Casey Janssen. Bogaerts collected two hits in the game and now has a brief four-game hit streak.

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan

It’€™s hard enough for a team to remain focused and composed during the grind of a 162-game season. It becomes an even harder ordeal when almost a third of your team might be shipped off in the coming days.

It’€™s hard enough for a team to remain focused and composed during the grind of a 162-game season. It becomes an even harder ordeal when almost a third of your team might be shipped off in the coming days.

That’€™s the scenario plaguing the Red Sox, who, with a 1.7 percent chance of making the playoffs, have accepted the role of seller€ this year.

Multiple players have heard their names come up in trade rumors, with Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jonny Gomes, Koji Uehara, Andrew Miller, Mike Carp and Stephen Drew all facing the possibility of playing for a different team in a matter of days.

While the thought of losing multiple players -€“- many of whom played key roles in Boston’€™s World Series run in 2013 –€“ is likely a huge distraction in Boston’€™s clubhouse, Red Sox manager John Farrell stressed in his pregame press conference Tuesday that it is imperative for the team not to lose the unity and camaraderie that it had built over the last two seasons during this stressful time of the year.

“€œThere’€™s a lot of talk,” Farrell said. “€œWe’€™re not unrealistic to see that players are hearing and seeing their name associated with a potential [trade], so those are some common distractions that are associated with the trading deadline. We do what we can to maintain an open line of communication, that’€™s the here and the now.

“I will say this, that it is important that we all continue to focus as a team. … The things that we established a year ago and the things that we continue to build, that can’€™t be sacrificed with a so-called distraction taking away from the way we play. That’€™s unacceptable, in my mind.”

Farrell continued: “€˜There’€™s still a lot of answers to be had this year, and I think our guys are well aware of that despite the current couple of days where there’€™s a lot of talk. … I think it’€™s important to recognize that we don’€™t sacrifice the expectation of what goes on in between the lines.”

While trade rumors have dominated talk around the team for the past week or so, Farrell said that he tries to remain focused on the task at hand Tuesday night –€“ earning a win against the Blue Jays.

“The way we’€™re wired, I don’€™t look past 7:00 tonight. There’€™s going to be a lot that happens between now and August 1,”€ Farrell said, adding: “€œI try not to get too far ahead of myself.”

– Farrell was asked if it appeared that his team had been distracted in recent games — chiefly, a stretch of six losses in seven games.

“To say that with a broad brush, no, not at all. Are there some things that we address internally? Yes there have been,” said Farrell. Among them: Farrell said that he’d met with left-hander Felix Doubront to discuss a performance on Monday that many observers viewed as indifferent, in which he permitted six runs in 2/3 of an inning and did little to increase his potential trade value Monday.

While Farrell acknowledged meeting with the pitcher after the game, the manager declined to go into specifics regarding the talk.

As a reliever this season, Doubront has allowed 11 earned runs in nine innings while posting an unsightly 2.00 WHIP. On the year, Doubront is 2-4 with a 6.07 ERA.

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

– Another member of the Red Sox rotation could also be on the move in the coming days, as John Lackey has been drawing a large amount of interest due to his consistent performance on the hill and his team-friendly deal for next season that will be at the major league minimum.

While Lackey could be another player shipped off in the near future, Farrell refused to comment on the veteran hurler’€™s status.

“The only thing that I will say is that we’€™ve got a number of guys of interest to a number of teams, and to comment specifically on an individual, I can’€™t say to what level that a team has interest on any one player or pitcher,” Farrell said.

– For the second time in three games, Mike Napoli is out of the Red Sox lineup, with Mike Carp manning first base Tuesday. While speculation is that the decision was made in order to showcase an unhappy Carp to potential trade suitors, Farrell said that the lineup shuffle is the due to Napoli‘€™s nagging finger injury that he has dealt with since mid-April.

“€œA down day and just dealing with a little swelling in that finger that he’€™s been dealing with for quite some time,” Farrell said. “We felt a day down, added treatment, would give him a chance to try to get ahead of it a little bit more.”

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan
Blue Jays players considered the possibility that their team could consider acquiring longtime rival Jon Lester in a trade. (AP)

Blue Jays players considered the possibility that their team could consider acquiring longtime rival Jon Lester in a trade. (AP)

Rumors have been flying over the past few days regarding Jon Lester‘€™s future. While there are naturally a number of clubs vying for the services of Lester, two of the more interesting teams that have been connected to the Sox lefty are the Orioles and the Blue Jays, two of the Red Sox‘€™ divisional rivals.

Obviously, trading within the division is something that doesn’t happen often. The last time the Red Sox struck a deal with an AL East rival was when they acquired current manager John Farrell and pitcher David Carpenter for infielder Mike Aviles prior to the 2013 season. But inter-divisional deals that occur during the season are even more rare.

To find the last time the Red Sox pulled off a deal within the AL East in the middle of the summer, you’€™d have to go back to 2006, when they sent cash and a player to be named later to Baltimore for catcher Javy Lopez. They also acquired Eric Hinske from the Blue Jays for cash after the deadline that year.

While no deal with the Blue Jays or any other team is imminent, the prospect of Lester pitching for the team that he’€™s competed against for so long is intriguing.

“€œIt’€™d be strange,”€ Toronto outfielder Colby Rasmus said of the idea of someone like Lester, who he’€™s faced often since being traded from the Cardinals to the Blue Jays in 2011. “But I’€™ve played for a little while now and I’€™ve had that happen before, it is kind of a weird thing, somebody who has dominated you and somebody that you compete heavily against, you have to form some sort of a hatred for that person to try to get out there every day and compete against them, as good as he is, but I’€™m sure we’€™d welcome him in with open arms and just hope that he helps us out.”€

Nolan Reimold, who has spent his entire six-year career in the AL East between the Orioles and the Blue Jays (who claimed him off waivers from the Orioles earlier this month), offered similar sentiments about the concept of dealing within the division.

“€œThat doesn’t happen very often. … I don’€™t know what the odds are that they do that, because normally teams don’€™t want to trade within the division, but who knows, we’€™ll wait and see,” Reimold said. “I mean, once someone’€™s on your team, they’€™re your teammate. I haven’€™t faced him in quite some time, it’€™s been a little while but once he’€™s on your team he’€™s just one of the guys trying to help you reach your goal.”

While Jays slugger Jose Bautista wouldn’€™t comment directly on Lester’€™s situation given the amount of uncertainty and speculation that surrounds it, he spoke hypothetically of the idea of a deal of similar circumstances.

“I’€™m not a GM, but if I ever were to become one and I trade within my division, I would be concerned with what I’€™m acquiring, not what I’€™m giving what I’€™m giving up,” Bautista said. “There’€™s a reason why you’€™re making a trade in the first place so I’€™m just focused on that and ultimately feel and understand and believe that if I pull the trigger on it it’€™s because I feel like what I am getting is more beneficial to the organization than what I’€™m giving up.”

There was one thing everything could agree on, however. Division rival or not, any team would be happy to welcome Lester aboard.

“He’€™d have the impact that he has on every team, I mean how he is with the Red Sox,” Rasmus said when asked what Lester could bring to the club. “He’€™s a dominant pitcher, he’€™s as good as advertised, he’€™s a mule on the mound and can put a team on his back and give you that big first game start if you need it.”

“I’€™ve had plenty of those guys [who have come from rival teams] throughout my career, and if they’€™re quality players who you feel like could contribute and make a difference and be an integral part of the success of that organization moving forward, especially if you’€™re tied to that organization, it’€™s huge,” Bautista said. “It’€™s great, it shows commitment from the management and ownership and a determination to win, which ultimately everybody wants, from the players all the way up to the ownership.”

While Lester’€™s future destination (or lack thereof) isn’t clear, there’€™s one thing that is: He can be an asset to any competitive team.

“œHe’€™s a top of the line starter, he’€™s had a lot of success,”€ Reimold said. “€œI don’€™t think there’€™s a team out there that wouldn’€™t like to have him. I think that speaks for itself.”

Blog Author: 
Katie Morrison

Breaking: The Red Sox are playing on Tuesday.

Jon Lester said he doesn't want to discuss a contract extension with the Sox until after the season. (AP)

Farrell said Tuesday that Lester is still scheduled to make his next start Wednesday against Toronto. (AP)

Breaking: The Red Sox are playing on Tuesday. But that immediate engagement represented an afterthought when John Farrell met with the media prior to his team’s game against the Blue Jays.

With Boston sitting 11 games back in the AL East division standings and the July 31 trade deadline drawing closer and closer, the focus on the team in recent days has not been a matter of determining the chances of a miraculous playoff run in the final two months of the season. Rather, it has all been about ace Jon Lester, who could see his almost 12-year career with the Red Sox organization come to a close in a matter of days, perhaps even as soon as Wednesday.

Lester is scheduled to make his next start on Wednesday. That remains the case even with rumors swirling around him. But the rumors have enough substance that the Red Sox have already announced an alternative should Lester be dealt in the next 24 hours.

“As of right now, [Lester is] scheduled to start [Wednesday] night,” said Farrell. “We have a contingency plan. If Jon is traded by this time tomorrow Brandon Workman will start.”

While the chances of Lester remaining as a member of the team becomes an increasingly slim scenario as the hours pass, Farrell said that he remains optimistic that Lester will remain in the Sox rotation by the time the deadline passes.

“Someone asked me a question earlier about having experienced a lot of successes, a lot of challenges and my only response is that I hope there are many more to experience with [Lester],” Farrell said. “The reality of the game is what we’€™re living right now and certain individual cases, but I’€™m always optimistic and hopeful that he’€™ll remain in a Red Sox uniform.”

Lester has put together his best season as a pro during his final year under contract with Boston, posting career highs in ERA (2.52), WHIP (1.12) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.66) in 2014.

The potential of adding a pitcher with the pedigree of Lester to any rotation has made the Sox southpaw a hot commodity as the trade deadline draws closer and closer, with teams such as the Dodgers, Mariners, Brewers and even AL East foes such as the Orioles and Blue Jays linked to Lester.

While any trade involving Lester has the potential to yield a significant haul back to the Red Sox, yet questions about how the Red Sox would go about replacing a top-of-the-rotation left-hander.

So how does the team get better going forward by trading Lester? On that subject, Farrell did not attempt an answer.

“€œThat’€™s probably a question better answered by [Red Sox GM] Ben [Cherington], because no one knows what the return of any player, if they’€™re traded, is going to bring,” Farrell said. “€œBut our goal is to be as good as we can, as quick as we can, and that’€™s not saying that we close the book on 2014, so to specifically answer that question, it remains to be seen who gets traded and for what.”

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan