Jon Lester to start Wednesday on short rest … unless the Red Sox make a trade

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There’s speculation that the Red Sox may still trade for a veteran starting pitcher solely to have him pitch what could be a win-or-go-home game Wednesday, but barring that manager Terry Francona announced Jon Lester will start Game 162 on short rest.

Not only would Lester be pitching with just three days off between starts, he’d be doing so after coughing up eight runs in 2.2 innings against the Yankees on Saturday. He hasn’t thrown a Quality Start since shutting out the Blue Jays for seven innings on September 11, allowing 16 runs in 13.2 innings over three outings.

Cubs acquire Martín Maldonado from the Royals

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Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.

Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.

Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.