We heard yesterday that the Dodgers have been in touch with the Red Sox about a deal for left-hander Jon Lester, but they figure to have plenty of competition leading up to Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline. FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal provide two other potential destinations:
The Orioles are a weird scenario to contemplate since they are in the same division as the Red Sox, but they could use an ace as much as anyone and they have a lot of young pitching in their pipeline. However, it’s unlikely they’ll part with someone like Dylan Bundy or Kevin Gausman for a rental and someone like Hunter Harvey or Eduardo Rodriguez might not be enough for Boston’s liking.
As for the Mariners, we have heard them linked to David Price in recent weeks, but the Rays may be less inclined to deal him now that they are playing better. They also have the option to wait until this offseason to find a deal. As Rosenthal points out, Lester would likely cost the Mariners less in the way of prospects than Price would have since he’ll be a free agent this winter. And that makes him an appealing alternative for Seattle. Still, the Red Sox will want something that they see as better than the value of a draft pick from a qualifying offer.
One thing’s for certain, the list of teams calling the Red Sox about Lester only figures to grow as the trade deadline draws closer.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.
Comments from an anonymous team official suggest that Rangers right-hander Tyson Ross will not be expected to join the rotation until May or June, per a report from Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Both Ross and GM Jon Daniels favor a conservative approach for the 29-year-old as he works his way back up to full health after undergoing surgery last October to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.
The delay is reportedly being implemented so that Ross will be have the strength and stamina to contribute during the stretch run. Per Daniels:
We would rather err on a little extra time up front with the goal being to finish strong, pitching in big spots, meaningful games down the stretch and hopefully past 162.
Ross signed a one-year deal with the team on Thursday after pitching through an injury-riddled season with the Padres in 2016. If all goes according to plan, he’ll slot into a rotation that includes Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels, Andrew Cashner and Martin Perez. The Rangers are expected to narrow down their fifth starter alternatives in spring training.