It’s been an interesting few days for the Boston Red Sox, to say the least. And within the next couple of months, Ben Cherington might be ready to say, “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
After participating in the largest salary dump in the history of sports, sending Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford all to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Red Sox promise to be one of the busier teams, if not the busiest this winter. More players will go, and the Sox just freed up a whole bunch of cash, which will enable them to try and get back into contention next year.
Among the players that the Red Sox could look to deal this winter is Jon Lester. The two-time All Star hasn’t had the best of years, like many on this team, and is a candidate to find his way out of Beantown if Cherington decides to continue his housecleaning of the organization.
After four consecutive years in which his ERA was at 3.47 or lower, Lester has struggled mightily this season. His ERA is near five, his strikeouts are down, and he’s already surrendered more hits than he did all of last season. If anything, he’s a possible “change of scenery” candidate.
If the Sox do look to deal him, the Chicago Cubs are a team that could certainly have interest. And not just because of the Theo Epstein connection, which is obvious.
Heading into next season, the Cubs have very little to work with in their rotation. Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija are their only front end types in the starting five, and the only ones who have jobs locked down. That’s assuming they don’t trade Garza, which is still a very big possibility if he’s healthy.
It remains to be seen what type of package it would take to get the former Cy Young candidate, but the Cubs could choose to buy low on him. They have money to spend this offseason, but no one knows how much adding they’re interested in doing.
It’s no certainty that Lester will be traded, but after the events of the past weekend, we know Cherington isn’t afraid to pull the trigger on something like that. If he is shopped, the Cubs will certainly have interest and he’d definitely be a good fit in a very thin Cubs rotation.