BAL@BOS: Lester fans seven over eight solid frames

BOSTON -- General manager Ben Cherington doesn't think the team's place in the standings will have much of an impact on how he views contract negotiations with Jon Lester.

"I don't think the team's performance can influence that much, our thinking on that type of decision we make," Cherington said. "We've had interest in signing him going back to the last offseason in March -- and we still do. I think everyone knows that. I think that process is guided by things we see, things he believes in, and it's a singular decision in a player. Certainly we think he can be part of making us good. So that's there."

Lester, coming off a spectacular 2013 postseason, is having a solid season, one that got him on to the American League All-Star team.

Cherington was noncommittal when asked if negotiations with Lester could pick up before the lefty reaches free agency.

"I can't say," Cherington said. "We're going to honor the commitment we made to not talk about it publicly. I think everyone knows what our interest is. I think he knows what our interest is. We're also trying to honor and respect his desire to not talk about it publicly and not let it be a distraction for him or the team."

Cherington: Red Sox in 'unusual, unique' position

CWS@BOS: Farrell on Red Sox miscues in 8-3 loss

BOSTON -- Even in 2012, when the Red Sox finished in last place and lost 93 games, they were still in the pennant race at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Though general manager Ben Cherington hasn't declared his team a seller just yet, he is bracing for the possibility.

"We're in an unusual and perhaps unique position," said Cherington. "It's unusual in that we haven't been in this position, at least since I've been here -- and in a position of even thinking about trading players at the Deadline. So that's unusual."

And even more unusual when you consider the Red Sox were headed toward a World Series just last season and entered Wednesday's action with a 39-51 record.

"It's unique, because on the one hand, our team is where it is. On the other hand, we've got guys on the team who are performing at a very high level who were part of winning a World Series months ago, and that just doesn't happen often in baseball," Cherington said. "Sometimes teams are sellers, but not necessarily with guys who are coming off success like that. We'll just have to see what happens. As I've said before, whatever we do will be with the mind of trying to get better as quickly as possible and trying to build the next good team as quickly as possible."

The Red Sox designated veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski for assignment and recalled No. 10 prospect Christian Vazquez on Wednesday, and there could be other established players who are subtracted in the coming weeks as the club continues to allow the prospects to play.

"We believe we can win games with Christian behind the plate and David [Ross] -- those two will split time," Cherington said. "It is also an investment in him. We're in an unusual spot. We're just going to have to see what the rest of the month brings us, if we go on a run and our outlook changes."