BOSTON — Jon Lester donned Red Sox gear before Wednesday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. The left-hander remains with the organization that drafted him in 2002 — for now — despite speculation running rampant on the eve of Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline.
It’s unclear if Lester will be with the Red Sox come 4 p.m. ET Thursday, but Boston is preparing to have its ace for this weekend’s series against the New York Yankees. If Lester is not traded before Thursday’s deadline, he’ll pitch Sunday’s series finale against the Bronx Bombers, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell.
John Lackey is scheduled to pitch Friday and Allen Webster is scheduled to pitch Saturday. The Red Sox are off Thursday, although it still will be a busy day for the organization with the deadline looming.
Lester, who is slated to become a free agent after this season, has been the subject of extensive rumors over the last few days. He was scheduled to start Wednesday against the Blue Jays, but the Red Sox scratched the 30-year-old in favor of right-hander Brandon Workman because of the uncertainty surrounding the situation.
“I think that’s why (Tuesday) when it came to a head that we felt like it was best for all to let’s just back out of this for a couple of days with the start, just so he wasn’t carrying around all the uncertainty,” Farrell said before Wednesday’s game. “I’m sure it’s been very difficult for him.”
Lester, who has expressed a desire to remain with the Red Sox beyond 2014, hasn’t ruled out re-signing with the team over the offseason even if he’s traded before Thursday’s deadline.