Trade deadline roundup: NL Central contenders reportedly head list of Jon Lester suitors

July 30, 2014 - 8:11 am
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Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester remains in limbo, but reports midday Wednesday indicate there could be a battle between National League Central teams for his services. The Cardinals' interest apparently has stirred the Brewers and Pirates, not only so they can get better but so they can keep him away from a rival. All three teams are within 1 1/2 games of each other atop the division. The Dodgers reportedly still are interested, along with the Mariners. Meanwhile, the other standout lefty from the American League East on the market appears less likely to be moved. While the Dodgers and Cardinals are said to remain interested in Rays ace David Price, the Rays' recent hot streak (they've won 11 of their last 12 games) might help keep him in Tampa. While Lester was scratched from Wednesday's start, Price tweeted Wednesday morning that he's planning to suit up for his team's afternoon game against the Brewers, joking: This is my last start for the Rays....IN JULY!!! been up and been ready!!! -- According to multiple reports, the Phillies are making pitcher Cole Hamels available, but at a steep price. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that Philadelphia has asked for multiple top prospects from the Red Sox, Dodgers and Yankees. ESPN's Jayson Stark reports that the Phillies are only willing to pay $10 million of the remaining $90 million-plus on Hamels' contract. -- The Cubs, who sent Jeff Samardzija to the Athletics earlier this month, plan to be involved in more trade discussions involving some of their players. "I think we'll be active," general manager Jed Hoyer told Chicago Tribune reporter Mark Gonzalez. "It wouldn't surprise me if we made no moves, but I guess I'd say I'd expect to be active. [Wednesday] is moving day. I'd expect things would be a lot more serious as we move into [Wednesday]." Gonzalez reports that representatives from the Mets, Giants, Mariners and Dodgers watched Edwin Jackson start Tuesday night's game. Infielder Emilio Bonifacio and left-handed relievers James Russell and Wesley Wright after other names to watch. -- The Rangers reportedly are willing to pay some of the remaining salary due to outfielder Alex Rios, although the interest appears to be fading. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted that there has been interest from the Indians, Reds, Royals and Giants.
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