But only a few can offer robust packages in return.
Though he's coming off a frustrating year, Lester previously performed brilliantly in the always-competitive AL East. His durability has never been questioned (161 starts since 2008), nor has his courage. The left-hander was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2006, but he returned to the major leagues the next season after chemotherapy and rehab.
The two-time All-Star is owed about $11.6 million next summer, his age-29 season. His contract also includes a $13 million team option for 2014 that can be bought out for $250,000. Lester will be a bargain—even at those eight-figure amounts—if he regains his old form.
The following potential trade partners could provide considerable compensation for his services.