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Red Sox trade rumors: Dodgers, Cardinals are Jon Lester favorites

With a little over a day to go until the trade deadline, two NL teams are pushing hardest for Lester.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Even if you've spent the last 48 hours hiking in the wilderness, you're probably aware that a Jon Lester trade appears imminent. According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the most likely destinations at this stage are the Dodgers or the Cardinals, because they're the two teams pushing hardest for one of Lester or the Rays' David Price. Only one of them might be traded, and if you had to bet, it would be Lester, since Price still has a year left on his deal and can be dealt this winter -- after the Rays finish seeing if they can squeeze into the playoffs.

For the Cardinals, they are looking for insurance against Michael Wacha's fractured shoulder -- an injury he still has not returned from that could use significant recovery time -- as well as the loss of Jaime Garcia. Lester would be a rental, but for a team like the Cardinals that is perpetually in the playoff picture, where "win now" has been more like "win always" for most of the last decade-plus, a rental that could push you over the edge matters. Plus, it might be worth it to the Cardinals to acquire Lester if for no other reason than it keeps him away from the Pirates, Dodgers, or any other National League squad looking to acquire him.

The Dodgers want Lester because Josh Beckett's hip could keep him from remaining as productive as he's capable of under normal circumstances, and Dan Haren skipped turning into a pumpkin after a strong start and instead just became, uh, something worse than a pumpkin. A decorative gourd? Sorry, this one got away from me. They already have Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-jin Ryu in the rotation, but the modern Dodgers have been nothing if not about excess, so adding Lester to the mix would fit in well with their as big as we can go philosophy.

Heyman says the Pirates were considered a Lester destination last night, but that they're possibly unwilling to part with top prospects for a rental. This could change if the Red Sox throw everyone the Pirates have been hoping to acquire their way -- Lester, Andrew Miller, and hey, maybe they still want Mike Carp -- but that's unknown at this stage.

Late Tuesday night, Gordon Edes reported that, besides the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Pirates, the Blue Jays, Orioles, and Athletics were also in on Lester. It's tough to believe the A's are trying to get Lester, but might just be doing their best to keep Lester out of the AL by getting involved in the conversation so they can be part of a three-way deal with one of the Senior Circuit clubs. The Marlins and Mariners were also linked to him previously, but haven't been mentioned of late.