Could Lackey follow Lester out of Boston?

It seems a foregone conclusion that Jon Lester will be dealt at some point before Thursday afternoon’s trading deadline, but might John Lackey be heading out of town as well?

The Kansas City Royals, a source said, have inquired about Lackey, who is scheduled to start Friday against the Yankees. Because of a unique contract that calls for him to be paid $500,000 next season, a number of teams have checked on his availability, including the Marlins.

He'd seem like a tough guy for the Red Sox to deal, given all the uncertainty about Lester's future. But teams that have asked about Lackey say the Red Sox want a major league starter in return and probably won't trade him if they don't get one back. Or, if they get an established starter back for Lester, it would give them more flexibility in fielding offers for Lackey.

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted Wednesday that a source told him there was a "very good chance" both Lester and Lackey would be dealt.

One official wasn’t so sure about that.

"I just don't know," an official of one team told ESPN.com, "how you can give away a $500,000 pitcher [Lackey] who's that good."

Information from ESPNBoston.com’s Gordon Edes and ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark was used in this report.