There are less than 60 hours until the 4 pm, July 31st trade deadline. Mariners trade rumors are starting to simmer once again. This time, though, they include a homegrown product who has just recently become available on the trade market: lefty ace Jon Lester.
Per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:
It seems Lester’s recent availability has come with the continued losing by the Red Sox and the knowledge of his steep price tag come the offseason. According to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com, there is less than a 50 percent chance Lester gets dealt at this point.
But still, why can’t the Mariners pull the trigger?
Lester was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, playing for jesuit high school Bellarmine Prep. He was a three-time MVP and three-time All-Area selection. He was even named Gatorade State Player of the Year in 2000.
Though it wouldn’t be for more than two or three months, Lester’s homecoming could be a sweet one, as he would round out a playoff-contention worthy 1-2-3 in the rotation.
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No, Lester would not be cheap, but as Rosenthal notes above, he would be cheaper than David Price. A package would likely have to center around someone who can play shortstop (perhaps Brad Miller or Nick Franklin), and pitching prospect Taijuan Walker.
Since entering the league in 2006 with the Red Sox, Lester has been a reliable rotation arm. He sports a 3.64 career ERA with a 110-63 win-loss record.
This season he has been even better, posting a 2.52 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP with 149 strikeouts to only 32 walks. He has already been worth 3.0 WAR on the season.
Again, as JJ mentioned earlier today, this team needs value and upgrades wherever they can get them. Whether it’s an outfielder with a right-handed bat or a left-handed starting pitcher, an upgrade is an upgrade no matter where it goes.
Yes, the Mariners have the best ERA in baseball, but what’s the harm in making it even better with an arm like Lester’s?