The non-waiver trade deadline hits Thursday, and there is all kinds of chatter, big and small, out there regarding the Blue Jays and everyone else, so let’s check out what’s going on over at the invaluable, fantastic, and comprehensive MLB Trade Rumors and see what we’re hearing as the hot stove gets close to its boiling point…
Jon Lester fever is getting close to 106 degrees. The Red Sox look pretty certain to be moving their ace — a free-agent-to-be who may well already have designs on returning to Boston in the winter anyway — with all kinds of rumours a-flying, and the Jays catching a break on account of the Sox having scratched him from tonight’s start.
They may have caught an even bigger break than that, though, as reports earlier today had Baltimore making a swoop for him, but at the time of this writing it appears that those rumours have been quashed. Or, at least, according to tweets from several of the big rumour mongers — like this one from Joel Sherman of the New York Post — that nothing is close. That doesn’t mean it still can’t happen, though, and it would certainly be a blow to the Jays’ plans of catching the Orioles for the AL East crown. But at the moment any number of teams seem to be in, though the one that plays in this city doesn’t appear to be one of them.
It’s a shame, too. The price is certainly high — the rumours about Baltimore suggested the Sox were looking for Kevin Gausman or Dylan Bundy, while Nick Cafardo, the high prince of not making any fucking sense, tweeted that Ben Cherington is looking for a Major Leaguer plus prospects. I’m not sure how the Jays (or any other potential contender) could possibly give up a big leaguer of any sort of regard, given that they kinda need those for the stretch drive, but the high-level prospect thing seems doable.
I tweeted earlier that I’d deal Dan Norris for Lester without blinking. Last night I said I’d do Norris, Sean Nolin, and Dawel Lugo. That’s maybe a little steep — and I continue to maybe be a little too soft on Nolin — but shit, to get Lester and keep him away from a division rival? While keeping Hutchison, Stroman, Sanchez, Osuna, Hoffman, a number of other big low-minors arms, and other, better middle infield prospects (or ones at least there currently) like Franklin Barreto and Richard Urena?
It’s at least not something I’d dismiss right away. Ownership, on the other hand, very probably would — at least according to the continued rumours about the Jays’ ability to add salary. Bob Elliott was on this more than a week ago, and today in his column at ESPN.com, Jayson Stark wrote that “Toronto is one of several teams that are telling clubs they can’t take on any significant money in any deal.” Lester is owed $4.33-million for the remaining two months of his 2014 deal.
So… there’s that. Though Jon Heyman tweets that a mystery team may be in play! Can it be? Could it be? Will it be???
Actually it’s probably Oakland.