Report: Red Sox Considering Jon Lester-For-Matt Kemp Trade

BOSTON (CBS) — With the trade deadline set for Thursday afternoon, might Jon Lester be in his final days in a Red Sox uniform.

That appears to be a very real possibility, with Ken Rosenthal and Buster Olney both reporting Sunday that the Sox are listening to trade offers for their No. 1 starter. Both noted that it would take a hefty return in order for the Red Sox to really consider pulling the trigger on a deal.

According to ESPN’s Gordon Edes, Matt Kemp would qualify as a possibly acceptable return, because a team source informed him that the Sox were considering a trade for the Dodgers outfielder.

Kemp, 29, has yet to recapture his near-MVP form from 2011, when he batted .324 with 39 home runs, 126 RBIs and a .985 OPS. In the two and a half seasons since, Kemp has batted .285 with an .814 OPS, homering 37 times in 274 games played.

Kemp is currently on year three of an eight-year, $160 million contract that will pay him $21 million next year and $21.5 million annually from 2016-19.

Lester, 30, is in the midst of his finest season as a big leaguer, compiling a 10-7 record to go with a 2.52 ERA and a 4.66 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Red Sox and Lester were far apart in contract negotiations in spring training, and last week principal owner John Henry said that negotiations have been tabled until the end of the season, when the Sox would have a window of exclusive negotiating rights.

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