Almost out of nowhere, a report out of Kansas City Monday said the Red Sox and Royals engaged in trade talks which would have sent starting pitching Jon Lester to Kansas City in exchange for top outfield prospect Wil Myers.
Many have jumped all over the report and, surprisingly, a significant number of Red Sox Nation support the trade but their hopes are most likely all for not as the deal does not make much sense for either side.
First off, why would the Royals, a team which hasn’t made the playoffs since 1985, yes 1985, deal away their top prospect who hit .314 with 37 home runs and 109 RBIs in 134 games last year (combined between AA and AAA)?
The 21-year-old is on pace to be the next face of the Royals franchise and hopefully be part of turning the franchise around. In the short-term, the excitement of having a 21-year-old in the majors would lead to more fans in the seats, similar to the way Mike Trout transformed Los Angeles and Bryce Harper changed Washington.
From a Red Sox perspective, wouldn’t you wonder why the Royals would be willing to deal Myers, especially for Lester who is coming off of his worst season as a professional? Maybe Kansas City knows something about Myers others don’t.
And finally, Lester isn’t going anywhere. The Red Sox trading away Lester for a prospect would pretty much say the team has acknowledged they will not be in contention in 2013 and are now building for the future. This is not how the Red Sox operate, an organization which is so PR-driven.
Also, all is not lost with Lester. Despite going 9-14 with a 4.82 ERA in 2012, the lefty still has the potential to be a No. 1 starter in the league. From 2008-2011, Lester went 65-32 with a sub-3.50 ERA in all four seasons.
He is also getting John Farrell back as manager, the pitching coach who developed Lester into the pitcher he is now. Lester’s 2012 season was just a bad year, it is not indicative of the pitcher he really is.
While the Red Sox need to make a major move this offseason, this is not going to be it.