The Nation: Big returns for an ace

You all know by now that Jon Lester is available in a trade. Because he’s an ace, the team that wants him the most will have to give up some serious talent in return. I expect Jon has pitched his last game in Boston. And as much as I’d like to hold out hope that he would re-sign with us after the season, I’m going to be realistic and say that’s not going to happen. So, here are the teams interested in Jon Lester and the potential prospects they could package in a deal for Lester.

I’ll start with the AL East first (although these two teams are highly unlikely to acquire Lester from us, since they’re division rivals)

Orioles – Always hungry for starting pitching, the Orioles have contacted the Red Sox about Lester.

Possible trade pieces: Dylan Bundy (1), Hunter Harvey (2)

These are the top two prospects for the O’s. Bundy has a phenomenal upside and is going to be a great pitcher for a long time. I’ve scouted Bundy in person and I’ve seen the talent. The kid can pitch.

Blue Jays – Like the O’s, the Blue Jays have a talented lineup and lack the pitching needed for a deep playoff run. Lester could change that.

Possible trade pieces: Daniel Norris (1), Dalton Pompey (2)

Norris is a horse. He also has a great mix of pitches with some good control. I’m more interested in Pompey though. He’s a switch hitting outfielder that the Red Sox will definitely want in any deal.

Brewers – Remember when they got CC a few years ago? He changed them into a contender. They figure Lester could do the same.

Possible trade pieces: Jimmy Nelson (1), Tyrone Taylor (2)

Nelson is another top of the line pitching prospect. Taylor is an outfielder. It would be hard for the Red Sox to trade Lester to the Brewers without one or both of these guys.

Mariners – Seattle has been doing their best to buy a championship this year. With Cano and a recently added Morales, they believe all they lack is another great pitcher.

Possible trade pieces: Taijuan Walker (1), Alex Jackson (2)

Walker is great when he can stay healthy. Jackson is a good-hitting outfield prospect. The Red Sox would like to add both in any deal.

Braves – solid lineup, questionable pitching. The Braves lack an ace, making it hard for them to compete against a team like the Dodgers in the playoffs.

Possible trade pieces: Evan Gattis, Braxton Davidson (4)

Gattis is a longshot for the Red Sox to acquire. The Braves love him and the Red Sox have 2 talented catchers in the making. But Gattis could play some outfield and even DH in the future. Davidson is, of course, an outfielder the Sox would like to add.

Dodgers – Speaking of LA, the Dodgers have the best talent available to land Lester and even Lackey if they truly want him.

Possible trade pieces: Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Joc Pederson (1), Corey Seager (2)

The Dodgers have a great team. The best in my opinion. Adding Lester and possibly even Lackey and or Miller would further their already high chances of winning the World Series. Kemp would be a great fit IF he’s healthy and IF the Dodgers eat a huge amount of his salary. Ethier would have a bigger role in Boston, but the Red Sox aren’t very keen on him. The real prize is Joc Pederson. I have also scouted him in person. Should the Red Sox acquire him, expect him to make a huge impact in the near and far future at Fenway Park.

Lastly,

Pirates – The Pirates have been somewhat hurt by losing AJ Burnett. Adding Jon Lester would certainly make them forget about him.

Possible trade pieces: Tyler Glasnow (1), Josh Bell (3), Jose Tabata

Glasnow projects as a possible front of the rotation starter while Bell is a very talented outfielder. Tabata struggled mightily this year, but I still see upside in him. Pittsburgh may very well be the dark horse in the Lester race. I expect them to make a strong offer.

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