Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester was previously scheduled to take the mound for Boston on Wednesday against Toronto at Fenway Park. Instead, it will be Brandon Workman for the home team, manager John Farrell told reporters Tuesday night.
This doesn't necessarily mean a trade has happened (yet), but it seems to be a major signal that Lester could very realistically be traded pretty soon.
What reasons would the Red Sox have to scratch Lester before a deal is made?
1. Lester becomes more attractive to suitors with one extra start available.
2. It prevents injury.
3. It prevents an awful outing, that might well diminish his value, even if only slightly due to the incredibly small sample that is one game.
I wouldn't say this means he's definitely going to be traded, either. But it does keep his value at its peak by not letting him take the ball on July 30.
Lester, 30, is 10-7 with a 2.52 ERA (155 ERA+), 1.12 WHIP and 149 strikeouts against 32 walks in 143 innings pitched this season. He's set to hit free agency after this season and talks for a long-term extension appear to have gone nowhere between Lester and the Red Sox.