Updated 05:15 PM EST, Thu, Dec 03, 2020

MLB Trade Rumors: Red Sox Wants Jon Lester to Orioles

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Yesterday might have been Jon Lester's last day in his Red Sox team's uniform and, for that, the pitcher held the bat, ESPN said. 

Lester seized the moment to play pretend when he showed up for a practice to prepare for the upcoming Red Sox interleague matchup with the National League's Cardinals, the report said. The match requires pitchers to bat and he practiced with the rest of the pitching pool.

This comes as the Sox scratched Lester from his scheduled start against the Blue Jays, a classic move that often means a team is about to let go of a pitcher, the report said.

But the Red Sox management tagged along, the report added, with Manager John Farrell  claiming that if Lester is not traded by the 4 p.m. ET deadline Thursday, he will see action with the team Sunday against the New York Yankees.

Late on Wednesday, there was still no trade deal, the ESPN report said. However, the Red Sox were negotiating with multiple teams--including the Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics and the Baltimore Orioles--and could proceed with a trade agreement early Thursday morning. All four can afford an upgrade, the report said. 

In a report by MLB.com, the Baltimore team's executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette on Wednesday afternoon said a trade involving them was a long shot.

Duquette told the report that he did not want to let go of his top pitching prospects, while confirming that Hunter Harvey has a right flexor mass injury that will make him miss the rest of the season. 

"Some of the long-term prospects for our pitching, we think are very valuable for the long-term sustainability of the organization and I think that's a real important component to have a good team year-in and year-out," Duquette said, as quoted by the report.

"I think with our young pitchers, we would be conservative and we would try and give them a prolonged trial in the big leagues before we would trade them," he added.

However, the pitch will be undermanned. Hunter joins Dylan Bundy on the list of nonplaying athletes, so Kevin Gausman is the only active member of the Top 3 pitcing prospects, MLB.com said. 

Citing sources familiar with the Jon Lester Derby, CBS Sports said the Athletics might take the Red Sox ace in, referring to the surprise Cubs deal on Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel as an evidence of how far the team can go.

Oakland could have the best depth of starters, the report said, although quoting a well-placed source, they had "nothing close." The Cardinals, Dodgers, Pirates, Orioles and Brewers are the favorites teams for Lester.

It is the time when general managers face the daunting task of weighting whether the teams would buy or sell, the Bleacher Report  said.  It remains to be seen who will weigh Lester right.

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