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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.

Comments (56)

  1. is giving up a top young guy so insane for a few months of lester?
    I’d say this year more than ever, especially for an ALE team, winning the division means way fuckin more than the wildcard.
    who wants the angles in a best of one?

    • I would much rather not have to play that game.

      If we take the AL East, it at least guarantees I will get to experience at least one post season game at the SkyDome.

  2. Norris, Lugo, and Nolin would be steep, but you’d have to do it, no?

    • …no!

    • I know this will probably earn me some scorn, but just going on the thoughts of others (as I have no real expertise here) but considering some opinions lately, if it came down to trading one of Sanchez or Norris to be the centre piece of a big deal, I’d lean toward keeping Norris.

    • Perhaps 2 of those would be enough for only the rest of the year of Lester, however, there is probably an inter-divisional premium… I would make that deal though

    • It’s a rental. It’s a two-month long rental for a pitcher that is still owed $3.5 million.

      If the Jays eat the contract, it should be Norris by himself.

      If the Jays require the Sox to eat the contract, the Sox can have Nolin too.

      • I take it back. The Sox can only have Norris if they eat Lester’s contract. If the Jays eat it, they can have Nolin and a C prospect.

        Probably isn’t good enough. But I could see the Sox agreeing to eat Lester’s contract; in which case they might actually take Norris.

  3. How can the Jays not add a prorated 4 million?

    Doesn’t make any sense considering the increased revenue a playoff run would bring. So frustrating if this is the reason the trade isn’t made.

    I can understand if they decide that the price is too high (Sanchez plus) but if it’s a money thing that is just unexcusable at this point in the season. Show the players and team you’re in it to win it.

    • That is the pro-rated amount. I believe his total salary for the year was in the ballpark of $12 million.

      • Yeah that’s what I meant, maybe wasn’t grammatically correct in saying pro-rated before the 4 mil.

  4. Norris + Drabek + Ricky Romero?

    Norris + Nolin + Romero?

  5. If the Sox are really after bats instead of pitching, not much we can do. Just don’t have enough talent above low-A, and the Sox are likely looking for guys that can help in 2015 at the latest…

  6. Really hard to see any we can’t take on salary due to ownership reports, when the Sportsnet big wigs are tweeting about highest ever ratings this late in the season. 1.1 million people watched last nights game. We stay in this thing and I’m guessing that those number may bump up a bit higher come August 29 and maybe even September 29th if we’re still in a playoff race.

  7. What would a package of Lackey + Lester bring? I’m thinking they’d probably get more in seperate deals, but how crushing would a trade of Lackey/Lester for Gausman/Bundy be…it would make Baltimore the heavy favorites this year and Boston would be a terror in the future.

    Boston might have to add a more controllable asset in there to balance it out but nobody wants this theoretical trade to happen anyway.

  8. If Rogers can’t find a way to add another $4 or $5 mil of payroll this year to try to push this team into the post-season, after 21 years of mediocrity, I will say fuck this team once and for all.

    I don’t care if it has the 10th highest payroll, I don’t care if they gave AA a budget, I don’t care that they increased payroll 2 years ago (and sat idle ever since). All I care is that after years of futility, the stars have finally aligned and all it will take is a little extra cash to push things over the top.

    AA has accomplished what they asked him to do: he got the team into contention without making any big free agent signings. He was shrewd in his moves. He’s got young draft picks contributing. And he picked the right window of opportunity sensing weakness in the division. He did a lot of bad stuff too, but nobody bats 1000. The point is this is the culmination of this regime’s effort, and they should have earned Roger’s trust by now to get the extra $5 or $10 mil they need to finish the job. For fuck sakes, they can clear it all of the books by next year if they have to anyway and they’ve got nothing committed salary more than 2 years out.

    What more could Rogers possibly want??

    • They want to operate their baseball team the way they operate their media divisions: dirt-cheap content, fleecing their customers, making off like bandits because Canada is bereft of sensible competition in their segment.

      Baseball is not like that.

    • They’re a business.

  9. Gotta say…even if the Jays don’t make any moves, I haven’t enjoyed a trade deadline this much since the freakin’ early 90′s!

    • I can’t remember the last time I was this into the Blue Jays period, there was a peak when Roger Clemens came over and again with all the moves around when BJ Ryan signed

  10. On Justin Masterson to the Cards, I don’t know what the situation is with the Card’s rotation but if he could have helped there could he not have helped the Jay’s rotation too? Especially at that price, a #6 prospect? And as I have read or heard, he can also be moved to the bullpen if need be to solidify that.

  11. If not now, when? Most prospects don’t pan out the way it is hoped. See Halladay deal. See various Lee deals.
    It’s time to cash some of them in. I’m not saying everyone, but fuck, Jon Lester!!

  12. Switching to Bell on Thursday after trade deadline. Fuck Rogers.

    • If rogers won’t add payroll the first time the jays are making a playoff run in 20 years – let’s deface that bullshit ted rogers statue!

  13. I’m thinking the opposite, giving up a 95 mph lefty prospect for possibly 8 starts from a 95 mph lefty pro just don’t seem right.
    Sure Norris could shit the bed but there’s a chance we have our own Lester right here in AA, also he’d be under team control for years.
    To me I just couldn’t make that gamble.

    • I don’t disagree, but what if we never wind up in such a good position in the years Norris (maybe) becomes Lester-like?

    • If by chance the Jays knew they could extend Lester than I would be all over it.

      But hey what the fuck do know.

      • The fact they can’t extend him would be why the price might be worth considering. Could a package with Nolan and or Pompey work? If so, I think it’s worth it.
        If we thought he could be extended, the deal would definitely have to start with Sanchez.

        But also, what do I know?

        • I’d give up norris or sanchez before Pompey. He’s our only position prospect above rookie ball. We got some arms though.

  14. If 4.33 mil stops us from acquiring Lester and not the prospects then i have a feeling we are going to be an unhappy bunch next year when all the money off the books might be staying off the books. We were excited not that long ago that the jays would have almost no obligations in a few years other than Reyes and team options, now that could be a harbinger of future payroll.

    I hope I am wrong but given the last year of tight purse strings and AA calling Navaro an overpay; I don’t know.

    If it is the case then AA might have to look into trading some big money players in the near future, just to balance the team in other areas.

    • And how absolutely disgusted we will be to see that happen and know that, if they wanted to, Rogers could outspend even the Dodgers?

  15. do I know

  16. I’d do Norris, Lugo, and Nolin for Lester… bu would Boston walk if I insisted on throwing in Romero? I mean I’d like something that lasts longer then two months of Lester and a bit of salary relief for next season would be nice.

  17. Wouldn’t it be fun if the Jays all but ended their season in this series AND acquire Lester? Sounds like Christmas to me.

  18. Am I the only one who thinks this Workman guy might just have himself a nice start tonight, after all of this Jays “catching a break” with Lester getting scratched nonsense? He’s no Lester, but I’m sure he feels no pressure going into this one, and has had some nice starts in the past…..

    https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/mlb/boston-red-sox-baltimore-orioles-340610101/

  19. […] See original here: Today In MLBTR: Lester Fever Edition! – Blogs | theScore.com […]

  20. I am not nearly as excited as firm in your belief that you wouldn’t hesitate to deal Norris, plus for Lester.

    6 years of Dan Norris > dozen starts of Jon Lester, no?

    Maybe its the recent winning ways that have me believe we an roll with what we got. But I am not down with selling near ready pieces for rentals.

    Fuck, we have waited all this time to see guys like Norris, Sanchez and Stroman (not quite as long) develop and they are now so close.

    Stay the course…or can we squeeze blood from a rock and get some value for Sean Nolin? I kid…

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