One theory on the Red Sox trade plans

Ken Rosenthal

Many Red Sox fans are furious that the team is trying to trade both Jon Lester and John Lackey. But maybe we should wait to see the team's entire plan.

One theory – and it’s just a theory – is that the Red Sox could take the prospects they receive in one or both trades and combine them with youngsters of their own to acquire a pitcher such as the Phillies’ Cole Hamels.

Remember – the Red Sox balked at signing Lester because of their seeming reluctance to give him a long-term contract that would start at age 31.

Hamels, 30, is signed only four years beyond this one, at $22.5 million per season. His deal also includes a $20 million option or $6 million buyout for 2019.

Total four-year commitment: $96 million.

Of course, the flaw in this theory is what a source told me Tuesday night – that the Phillies have not engaged in meaningful dialogue on Hamels, and that he is the least likely of their players to be moved.

Well, things change quickly in the hours before the non-waiver deadline. And even if the Red Sox trade Lester and Lackey and can’t get Hamels, they suddenly will be loaded with prospects – and positioned to quickly retool.