Farrell: Lester still Wednesday's starter

BOSTON -- For now, at least, Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester still is scheduled to make his start Wednesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.

The likelihood the Red Sox trade their left-handed ace before Thursday’s deadline is becoming more of a possibility because the demand for his services has skyrocketed, according to a league source, but the Red Sox aren’t yet to a point where a deal is imminent.

In case Lester is scratched from Wednesday’s start, the Red Sox will call up Brandon Workman from Triple-A Pawtucket, manager John Farrell said.

Farrell also said he’s talked with Lester about all the rumors and how the schedule could change.

“Although there’s a lot of rumors, a lot of talk with his name attached to it, right now he’s scheduled to start tomorrow night,” Farrell said. “If Jon is traded by this time tomorrow, Brandon Workman will start.”

Dating back to his days as Red Sox pitching coach, Farrell and Lester always have had a close relationship. That didn’t change when Farrell managed the Blue Jays and it remains that way today. So Lester’s name involved in trade speculation is a bit strange for Farrell.

“Someone asked me a question earlier about have you experienced a lot of successes, a lot of challenges, and my only response is that I hope there are many more to experience with him,” Farrell said. “The reality of the game is what we’re living right now in certain individual cases. I’m always optimistic and hopeful that he’ll remain in a Red Sox uniform.”

Being the defending World Series champ also adds an unusual aspect to the Red Sox acting as sellers.

“No one knows what the return of any player, if they’re traded, will bring,” Farrell said. “Our goal is to get as good as we can as quick as we can. And that’s not saying we’ve closed the book on 2014. It remains to be seen who gets traded and for what.”