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Jon Lester Reportedly Traded from Nationals to Cardinals Ahead of MLB Deadline

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 31, 2021

AP Photo/Nick Wass

The St. Louis Cardinals have reportedly acquired veteran pitcher Jon Lester in a trade with the Washington Nationals, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN.

According to Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post, the Nationals will receive outfielder Lane Thomas.

Lester has struggled in his first year in Washington, producing a 5.02 ERA with a 1.59 WHIP in 16 starts. He has just 51 strikeouts in 75.1 innings in 2021, equaling 6.1 strikeouts per nine innings that would rank the lowest of his career.

The 37-year-old still brings plenty of experience and a resume that includes five All-Star selections and three World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs.

Lester has also showcased his talent in 2021, including earlier this month when he threw seven shutout innings in a win over the Miami Marlins. The problem has been consistency with four games of at least five earned runs allowed. 

The left-hander will now try to help a team looking to earn a playoff spot after a 51-51 start to the season. The Cardinals especially needed pitching help with Carlos Martinez and Jack Flaherty on the injured list, leaving limited options behind Adam Wainwright and Kwang Hyun Kim.

St. Louis also added left-hander J.A. Happ in a separate trade with the Minnesota Twins.

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It creates a rotation with a lot of experience with Lester, Wainwright and Happ all over the age of 37.

The Nationals, meanwhile, continued their fire sale before Thursday's trade deadline with Max Scherzer and Trea Turner headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers among other deals. With a 47-55 record, they don't expect to compete this season and will instead try to reload the farm system.

Thomas will join the team with major league experience, although he has struggled at this level with a .172 average and five home runs across 84 appearances.

The 25-year-old has hit .265 with a .339 on-base percentage in 30 Triple-A games this season.

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