While it should be noted that teams discuss hundreds of conceptual trades during the winter that never see the light of day, a a lot of them never even reach the rumor mill. However, one surprising one was reported on Monday night.
Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reported that the Red Sox and Royals discussed a potential blockbuster that would send Boston lefty Jon Lester to Kansas City for top Royals outfield prospect Wil Myers. WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford confirmed the report. Both writers said that no deal is close at this time.
It’s surprising, however, that the Red Sox would even discuss trading Lester, long a cornerstone of their rotation. But Lester is coming off the worst season of his career (9-14, 4.82 ERA) and is two years away from free agency.
Perhaps Boston just wanted to gauge his value. As for Myers, he is an intriguing soon-to-be 22-year-old prospect who hit .304 at Triple-A last season with 24 homers, 79 RBIs and a .932 OPS.
Shortly before Thanksgiving, the Red Sox had to get their 40-man roster in order ahead of the Rule 5 Draft. A few of the players they designated for assignment already had deals with the team for 2013.
Infielder Ivan De Jesus, right-hander David Carpenter (who came over along with manager John Farrell in the swap with Toronto) and right-hander Sandy Rosario had all re-upped with the Red Sox on Minor League deals. So too has righty Jose De La Torre, who was not DFA’d.
As WEEI.com reported Monday, whether Carpenter and Rosario pass through waivers — and remain with the Sox — is still to be seen. De Jesus has passed through waivers and was outrighted.
De Jesus, who turns 26 in May, went hitless in eight plate appearances and eight games with the Sox in 2012. He’s had just 80 plate appearances in the Majors total between this year and last with the Dodgers and Sox, hitting .205. A former second-round Draft pick, he’s done much better at Triple-A, where he has a .303/.355/.416 line lifetime.
Carpenter, 27, is 1-5 in 60 innings and 67 appearances in the Majors — with all but three of those outings coming with the Astros. Houston sent him to Toronto in an earlier trade in 2012. Carpenter has shown strikeout stuff with 60 Ks in as many big-league innings and 215 Ks in 202 1/3 innings in the Minors. His career ERA in 45 1/3 innings at Triple-A is 1.79.
Rosario, 27, has 10 games and 7 2/3 innings in the Majors between the last three seasons, all with the Marlins. The Red Sox claimed him off waivers in October. Rosario has a lifetime 3.15 ERA in the Minors and a 1.65 ERA in 32 2/3 innings at Triple-A. He was a closer in the Marlins system.
De La Torre has a Minor League deal with an invite to big league camp. The 27-year-old had a 2.45 ERA at Triple-A Pawtucket and has a 9.3 K/9 in the Minors lifetime. He came over to the Sox from Cleveland for outfielder Brent Lillibridge.
If in the Majors, all four would make in the range of $490,000 to $506,000 pro-rated.
— Evan Drellich
The Red Sox are in the market for at least one starting outfielder, if not two, and a familiar name is out there. Jason Bay was a popular run producer during the year-and-a-half he played in Boston, but then went to the Mets, where he has had three horrific, injury-plagued seasons. Some thought that Bay was a bad fit for the Mets right from the outset. Could coming back to Boston resurrect his career?
It is at least a possibility. ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted the following: “The Red Sox are among the teams in contact with Jason Bay, as he considers his options for 2013. Looking for opportunity, familiarity.”
Fenway’s friendly dimensions in left field are a far better fit for Bay’s swing than CitiField ever was.
The Red Sox’s interest in Bay could depend on how things go with Cody Ross, who was a positive presence on the field and in the clubhosue for Boston in 2012. Ross is a free agent and said to be seeking a three-year deal. The Braves are among the teams who have shown early interest.