As we continue to digest the news of the Rays grabbing Wil Myers, Mike Montgomery, and Jake Odorizzi for James Shields and Wade Davis, many Red Sox fans have wondered aloud what exactly happened in the talks between Boston and Kansas City involving Jon Lester.
At the moment, all we know is that they happened. We know that Jon Lester for Wil Myers was discussed, and we have heard rumors that their might be a second level to the discussions--something involving an outfielder going from Boston to Kansas City in exchange for starting pitching, essentially balancing the trade in terms of positions.
What we do not know yet, what we'd very much like to know, and what is probably going to be one of the more sought after bits of information from local beat writers over the next couple of weeks is how close they were in terms, and whose names were involved.
The trade has spawned plenty of comparisons from Red Sox fans. What would it have taken to match Shields/Davis? How did Kansas City evaluate Lester compared to Shields? Surely Jon Lester and Felix Doubront would've gotten it done? Maybe even Lester/Aceves? Or maybe a prospect along the lines of Bryce Brentz could put the offer over the top and keep all that talent from going to Tampa Bay?
As it stands we really can't say. It seems safe to assume that Lester was not worth the same as Shields after last year, but how far apart the two are is unclear. It's as likely that Lester could have gotten Myers in a straight one-for-one swap as it is that the outfielder rumored to be needed from Boston was Jacoby Ellsbury and the pitcher coming back would've been Bruce Chen.
If today has shown us anything, it's that you really don't know what to expect when you're dealing with Dayton Moore. Generally speaking, there's probably not going to be a ton of reasoned thinking involved, but whose players that leads him to over or undervalue is entirely up in the air. Chances are, given the inquisitive nature of the media and the leaky nature of any team (even one that signed Shane Victorino out of thin air much as they did Carl Crawford and John Lackey and oh God why am I bringing this up?) there will likely be a story forthcoming from one of the major local outlets in the weeks to come.
Until we figure out exactly what situation Ben Cherington and his crew were dealing with, though, we'll have to reserve judgement as to just how much the team missed out on.