Daily Red Sox Links: Jon Lester; Dustin Pedroia; Jacoby Ellsbury

Boston, MA, USA; Cody Ross: Bat-flip extraordinaire. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

As the trade deadline approaches, the Red Sox find themselves in a position where they could use an upgrade at multiple positions. As is always the case this time of year, upgrades come at the price of prospects. Despite a bit of a lull in the farm system over the past few years, the Red Sox seem to be turning it around in that department. Chip Buck was nice enough to give us a nice primer on the ever-improving minor league system. (Chip Buck; Fire Brand of the AL)

  • Keeping with the trade deadline, the new CBA will surely affect teams' strategy when deciding how much to pay for a rental player. Before delving into ridiculous strategies to trade any combination of Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester and Josh Beckett, Tony Massarotti does a nice job of pointing out exactly how these CBA changes will affect the deadline. (Tony Massarotti; Boston.com)
  • For Baseball Nation, the great Rob Neyer answered some fans' emails and tackled such topics as: how to deal with the long games, how to handle the trend of increasing strike outs in the game, and how retired players would play if they returned today. As an added bonus, today's neat technology enabled Rob to answer the questions via video! (Rob Neyer; Baseball Nation)
  • After Tuesday night's start, Jon Lester's status as the team's "ace" is coming into question more than ever. Here's a quick look at just how poorly Lester has pitched in 2012. (Scott Lauber; Boston Herald)

  • Over at Fangraphs, Dave Cameron is taking Bill Simmons' idea of ranking the best trade assets in the NBA and applying the idea to MLB. Today's edition just so happens to includes Dustin Pedroia. You all should really take to the time to read the whole series. (Dave Cameron; Fangraphs)
  • As many of you already know, the Platoon Advantage is one of the very best baseball blogs on these interwebs. They've added a new writer, and he is just as amazing as everyone else who's written for them, as can be seen with this fantastic take on Ozzie Guillen. (David G. Temple; Platoon Advantage)
  • As I mentioned in yesterday's links, the AL East is possibly the most competitive division in all of baseball. Jay Jaffe took a look at how each team will approach the trade deadling. (Jay Jaffe; Sports Illustrated)
  • Over at Baseball Prospectus, a group of writers did a piece on some of their old beliefs about our favorite sport that have since been proved false. Our own esteemed writer Matt Kory, despite his questionable plate approach, took the leadoff spot for this article. And he did a terrific job, if I do say so myself. (Baseball Prospectus Staff)

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