Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester Reportedly Placed on Trade Waivers by Red Sox

Benjamin KleinContributor IIIAugust 24, 2012

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 13:  Jacoby Ellsbury #2 of the Boston Red Sox is helped off the field was injured in a double play in the bottom of the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays during the home opener on April 13, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox have been placing a couple of players on trade waivers every day and they placed Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester on them on Friday, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.

Jon Lester and Jacoby Ellsbury are the latest Red Sox to be placed on trade waivers.

— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) August 24, 2012

Jon Lester has been very inconsistent this season and currently owns a 7-10 record and a 5.03 ERA. He just can’t seem to find the success that he’s had over the course of his career, which clearly is a little concerning to the Red Sox brass.

Jacoby Ellsbury has been injured for the majority of the 2012 season after a fantastic 2011 campaign where he came in second in the America League MVP voting. After returning from a separated shoulder, it was no secret that the power he showed last season wasn’t there anymore. He only has one home run in 45 games after hitting 32 in 158 last season.

Lester is under contract through next season and there’s a $13 million team option for 2014.

Ellsbury is the much bigger name that could hit the market after next season and Boston could be thinking about cashing in while they still have the chance. Wouldn’t you rather get something besides a compensation draft pick in return for him should he decide not to re-sign next year?

On Thursday, the Red Sox placed Josh Beckett on waivers, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. On Wednesday, it was Adrian Gonzalez who found himself on the waiver wire, according to Sean McAdam of Comcast SportsNet New England.

Placing a player on trade waivers doesn’t necessarily mean that they will absolutely be traded, but it does give Boston the opportunity to. Trading any of the four aforementioned players would definitely break up the struggling Boston team that is currently sitting in fourth place in the AL East.

Boston should wait until the offseason or possibly next year’s July 31 deadline to trade Ellsbury away. They decided to keep him when his value skyrocketed and now that he hasn’t reciprocated those 2011 numbers, they wouldn’t get nearly as much in return for him.

In regards to Lester, it’s more important to eliminate those struggling pitchers around him. This is the first time he’s ever really struggled and there’s no reason to believe that it will continue past this season.

These decisions are ultimately up to GM Ben Cherington, but he would be smart to hang on to Lester and Ellsbury at least until the offseason.