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Lester trade talks reach fever pitch

BaseballJon LesterPawtucket Red SoxToronto Blue JaysFenway ParkMike NapoliCompensation and Benefits

The Sports Xchange

MLB Team Report - Boston Red Sox - INSIDE PITCH

BOSTON -- Jon Lester won't pitch for the Red Sox on Wednesday night. He might not be in a Boston uniform when the game begins.

Lester was scratched from his scheduled start in the series finale against the Blue Jays, manager John Farrell announced after the Red Sox' 4-2 loss to Toronto on Tuesday night at Fenway Park. The ace left-hander is the subject of trade rumors that intensified over the past few days, and the Red Sox's decision to skip his start likely is a signal that a deal is getting closer.

"In light of all the uncertainty surrounding Jon Lester, it's probably in everyone's best interests that he does not make that start," said Farrell, who added that right-hander Brandon Workman would be recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Lester's place. "There will be a corresponding move, roster-wise, at some point (Wednesday)."

The non-waiver trade deadline is 4 p.m. ET Thursday.

If the Red Sox trade Lester, that would open a spot for Workman. If a deal isn't completed, right-hander Rubby De La Rosa could be optioned to Pawtucket. De La Rosa allowed three runs in six innings Tuesday night, taking the loss to fall to 3-4 with a 3.64 ERA.

Lester left Fenway Park before the media was granted access to the clubhouse. When he returns, it is unclear whether it will be only to pack his bags.

"It's tough," second baseman Dustin Pedroia said of the speculation surrounding Lester, with whom he has played since 2004 at Class A Sarasota and throughout the entirety of their major league careers. "We're not teammates; we're family. I hope in a couple days he's here because he means a lot to me and everyone else in what he's done here. I hope we open the door and he's in here."

A year ago, the Red Sox signed Pedroia to an eight-year, $110 million contract extension that represented a team-friendly deal based on the average annual salary. It was presumed the team would reach a long-term agreement with Lester, but after the Red Sox made a lowball offer in spring training, negotiations haven't continued. Last week, owner John Henry told the Boston Herald that the Sox agreed to respect Lester's wishes by not resuming contract talks until after the season, a decision that signaled they would put him on the trade market.

Asked if he was surprised Lester wasn't afforded a similar long-term deal, Pedroia didn't offer an opinion.

"I don't make those moves, man," he said. "I'm just here to support Jon. As a teammate, every time he takes the ball, we've got a great chance of winning. I don't think about the other stuff. You can't control that. If we had a big game to play, we'd want him pitching it. I've seen it every start. I mean, it would be tough to see him in another uniform."


MLB Team Report - Boston Red Sox - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 48-59

STREAK: Lost two

NEXT: Blue Jays (LHP Mark Buehrle 10-7, 3.19 ERA) at Red Sox (RHP Brandon Workman, 1-3, 4.13 ERA)


--LHP Jon Lester was scheduled to start Wednesday against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park, but he is the subject of much trade speculation. So, after Tuesday's game, a loss to the Blue Jays, manager John Farrell announced that Lester was scratched from his start. Although a trade was not announced, the Red Sox thought the move would be best in light of the uncertainty regarding Lester's status.

--1B Mike Napoli did not play against the Blue Jays on Tuesday at Fenway Park. Manager John Farrell said it was an off day for Napoli, who is dealing with swelling in his left ring finger. Napoli fractured the finger earlier this season, missing 14 games while on the disabled list from May 24-June 9.

--LHP Felix Doubront gave one of the worst performances of his career Monday against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park. He went two-thirds of an inning, facing 10 batters, allowing six runs on six hits, including a three-run home run, and two walks. He also allowed the two runners he inherited to score. Doubront, who has said he wants to be in the rotation and not working out of the bullpen, appeared disinterested during his outing. Asked if he addressed Doubront's performance and appearance with the left-hander, manager John Farrell replied: "Yes, and that's all I'll say about that."

--RHP Brandon Workman will be called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to start Wednesday in place of LHP Jon Lester, who was scratched. Workman has made 11 appearances, eight starts, for Boston this season, going 1-3 with a 4.13 ERA. He has made 10 appearances, all starts, this season for Pawtucket, going 6-1 with a 4.45 ERA. A corresponding roster move will be announced Wednesday.

--INF/OF Brock Holt snapped an 0-for-15 slide with a one-out single in the third inning of Tuesday's loss to Toronto. He went 2-for-5 with a double and a run.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I had a couple of pitches that were mistakes, so, that was my fault." -- RHP Rubby De La Rosa, who gave up three runs on nine hits in six innings Tuesday in the Red Sox's 4-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.


MLB Team Report - Boston Red Sox - ROSTER REPORT


--1B Mike Napoli (swollen left ring finger) did not play July 29. He is expected to return to the lineup July 30.

--3B Will Middlebrooks (broken right index finger) went on the 15-day disabled list May 17. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on June 14. The Red Sox shut him down from all baseball activities June 27 due to persistent swelling that negatively impacted his throwing. He resumed his rehab with Pawtucket on July 1. He was shut down again July 12-17 due to a left wrist strain, then started a new rehab assignment with Pawtucket on July 18.

--C Ryan Lavarnway (left hamate wrist fracture) went on the 15-day disabled list May 30, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 5. He underwent surgery June 3. He began a rehab assignment in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League on July 18. He moved his rehab to Double-A Portland on July 21, then to Triple-A Pawtucket on July 25.


LHP Jon Lester

RHP John Lackey

RHP Rubby De La Rosa

RHP Clay Buchholz

RHP Allen Webster


RHP Koji Uehara (closer)

RHP Junichi Tazawa

RHP Edward Mujica

LHP Craig Breslow

LHP Andrew Miller

RHP Burke Badenhop

LHP Felix Doubront


Christian Vazquez

David Ross


1B Mike Napoli

2B Dustin Pedroia

SS Stephen Drew

3B Brock Holt

DH David Ortiz

INF/OF Mike Carp

INF Xander Bogaerts


LF Jonny Gomes

CF Jackie Bradley Jr.

RF Shane Victorino

OF Daniel Nava


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