BOSTON (CBS) — With trade rumors swirling around Jon Lester, the lefty will not make his scheduled start for the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.
Manager John Farrell announced that Lester had been scratched following Tuesday night’s 4-2 loss to the Blue Jays. Brandon Workman will be recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket and start in Lester’s place.
“I think in light of all the uncertainty surrounding Jon Lester, it’s probably in everyone’s best interest that he not make that start, so Brandon will be recalled,” Farrell said. “There will be a corresponding move roster-wise at some point tomorrow.”
That corresponding move could be a trade that sends the 10-7 Lester elsewhere. Six teams are reportedly interested in trading for the Red Sox’ southpaw, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland Athletics, Batlimore Orioles and Blue Jays.
With the Red Sox well out of the playoff picture this season they are reportedly asking for two top prospects in return for Lester, whose 2.52 ERA ranks fifth in the American League.
Lester did not stick around in the Boston clubhouse following Tuesday’s game, but his teammates had plenty to say about him.
“It’s tough. We’re not teammates, we’re family,” second baseman Dustin Pedroia told reporters. “It’s not something you like going through. It makes you feel worse because you don’t want to be in this position. I know a lot of guys, you play up to your capability and your team should be adding and not subtracting. Hopefully he’s here.”
David Ortiz said Lester was “like a brother” to him.
“Of course, you want to keep Lester around,” Ortiz told reporters. “He’s one of the best pitchers in the game — no question about it. It would be frustrating if you see him go somewhere else because of the situation we’re facing right now, but you don’t want to get ahead of what’s going on and better wait to see what happens.”
Lester sent out the following Tweet on Monday afternoon:
Lester and the Red Sox failed to even come close to an agreement in spring training, and principal owner John Henry recently said that all contract talks would be tabled until the end of the season.
In his career, Lester is 110-63 with a 3.64 ERA in more than 1,500 innings pitched, all with the Red Sox. He was named to the American League All-Star team this season for the third time since 2010.
The MLB trade deadline is Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m..
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