New Red Sox manager John Farrell was brought back to the Red Sox in hopes to fix the Sox pitching staff among other things.
But what if the "ace" of that Sox staff is traded before Farrell even gets a chance?
There's no reason to believe that anything is imminent, but Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes that it's not out of the question that the Royals would trade their top prospect -- and one of baseball's top prospects -- outfielder Wil Myers, for a top-of-the-rotation pitcher like Jon Lester.
Dutton quotes Royals GM Dayton Moore as saying: Were now at a point in time where we have good young players as good as any team in baseball. Now, weve got to do what we can to support them. Do we trade one of them? I dont know. Im not trying to. Id like to use our farm system in a way to support our major-league club now that we have good, young players who are all under control. Now, its time to do everything we can to begin to move forward.
Myers was the consensus minor-league player of the year and is already drawing heavy interest from numerous clubs.
While the Royals are reluctant to deal him, it appears doing so could net either James Shields or Lester, each of whom was an All-Star as recently as 2011. The problem: Both are expensive and on track to become free agents in two years.
Both deals have been discussed, but neither appears close at the moment. Other players could be involved, but the basic framework would be Myers for one of the two pitchers. At this point, all sides the Royals, Rays and Red Sox remain hesitant.
Myers may not be ready to man the outfield this season, but with Jacoby Ellsbury set to become a free agent next season and earn a nine-figure salary, the Red Sox would have their predecessor for a fraction of the cost.
Myers was a third round pick by the Royals in the 2009 Draft. He was listed as the No. 2 "pure best hitter" among high school players entering the 2009 Draft and was ranked No. 19 prospect heading into the 2012 season by MLB.com.
So how did he fare in the 2012 season? Pretty darn good. Myers hit .314 in 134 games (522 at bats), driving in 109 runs and crushing 37 homers. He had an Slugging percentage of .600 and OPS of .987. Myers did, however, strike out 140 times.
Lester is coming off a down year -- 9-14, 4.32 ERA, 1.38 WHIP -- but still looks to be the team's No. 1 starter on Opening Day.