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jon lester feature red soxHey, it looks like we might get at least one major deal during the BN Trade Deadline Blogathon.

Yesterday, rumors about Boston Red Sox starter Jon Lester reached a fever pitch, with everyone accepting that the impending free agent will be traded by the July 31 deadline, rather than extended by the Red Sox as had long been expected.

Because Lester was scheduled to start today, I mentioned that, if he was scratched from that start, it would be the canary in the coal mine about whether he’s going to be traded. It’s pretty hard to keep a guy after scratching him for the purposes of trading him. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, but it doesn’t happen regularly.

Annnnnnd he’s been scratched.

His manager, John Farrell, told the media overnight that he has scratched Lester from his scheduled start tonight, citing the “uncertainty” surrounding Lester’s situation. Yeah, he’s going to be traded.

Where will he go? Well, at varying times, we’ve heard teams like the Cardinals, Dodgers, Pirates, Brewers, Blue Jays, and Orioles are interested. Ken Rosenthal now says the Brewers are out (seemed like a stretch they could get him from the get-go), but indicates all of the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Pirates are still in. Gordon Edes adds in the Blue Jays, Orioles, and Athletics (TRADE FOR ALL THE PITCHERS!) into the present mix.

Since we know Lester will absolutely be traded, it seems like the preference here would be that he go to the Pirates (because of the tangential benefits to the Cubs, and because it would be nice to see them do well), and then to the Cardinals (for one billion prospects, hopefully).

According to Tom Singer, however, the Pirates are not willing to include any of Tyler Glasnow, Nick Kingham, Jameson Taillon, Josh Bell or Austin Meadows in a deal for Lester (aka “their good prospects”), just struggling second base prospect Alen Hanson, low-level prospects, and outfielder Jose Tabata – you know, the guy who cleared waivers earlier this year because of his contract. Not sure that’ll come close to enough for the Red Sox. Someone will blink.

This is likely to be the sexy storyline of the day.

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