Red Sox could end up trading Lester

"With Seattle, I know they went and got [Robinson] Cano last year, but I don't think anybody in baseball saw them being where they are," Byrd said. "And Kansas City, I didn't think they'd trade for me because they've always had outfield depth in their organization. So it's just one of those things where I kind of lucked out. So I can control my destiny just a little bit."

Sources say the Phillies are actually having more difficulty trading Byrd than they had anticipated. The Royals appear to have backed off, at least in part because he's under contract for $8 million next year and could want his $8 million option for 2016 picked up before he'd approve a deal. And the Reds, another team with interest, are reassessing their situation after losing eight of nine since the All-Star break.

So that leaves Seattle, which is still looking for a bat, and possibly San Francisco. The Giants are shopping for potential offensive upgrades and have asked the Phillies about Byrd, but are prioritizing second base. And while talks are ongoing, the Phillies don't appear to have a clear path to a deal with either club.

Byrd, who turns 37 next month, told he hopes the Phillies don't trade him this week, even if it means spending the last two months of the season on a team that's on pace for 91 losses, because "I signed over here hoping I could retire a Phillie. But I also know there's a business side."

So what would he say if Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. asked him to approve a deal to a team on his no-trade list? Byrd hinted he'd lean toward approving a trade.

"Then I have to have a conversation with my wife and with my agents [Seth and Sam Levinson], and see what's best for me, my family and what's best for this organization, because I can't be that selfish," he said. "I was blessed. Ruben came hard and wanted me here this year. He made it easy for me this offseason. So I can't be tough on him."

Still, it would be surprising if Byrd didn't ask for some sort of perk in order to waive his trade-veto rights, especially with Seattle emerging as his most likely destination. So it's no longer a certainty he gets traded at all this week.

Ready to rumble

• Despite reports of a Matt Kemp-for-Lester deal, and rumblings of Kemp landing in Seattle, other clubs report the Dodgers appear more likely to revisit trading Kemp next winter instead of now. And a Kemp-for-Lester deal would be more complicated than it looks, because Kemp has so much money ($114 million) left on his contract and because, as one AL exec put it, "Kemp for a two-month rental [Lester] doesn't make much sense."

• The White Sox had scouts watching the Yankees' system, particularly the minor league catching surplus, in the past few days. It is yet one more indication the Yankees are focused on John Danks in their search for another starting pitcher. Danks' $14.25 million salary the next two years wouldn't be as big an issue for the Yankees as it is for other clubs. But what might be a factor is that these are two teams that have had a lot of trouble matching up in recent years. In the past decade, the only significant trade the Yankees and White Sox have made was the deal that sent Nick Swisher to the Bronx -- six years ago.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...