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Lester, Buchholz on long-term futures in Boston

07.12.10 at 4:55 pm ET
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz, who earned a spot on the American League All-Star team on the strength of a first half in which he went 10-4 with a 2.45 ERA before suffering a lower left hamstring strain that landed him on the disabled list, said that he and the club have not had any conversations about a possible long-term deal.

Buchholz said earlier this year that he would like to follow in the footsteps of teammate Jon Lester and sign a long-term deal. Yet while neither Buchholz (and his agent) nor the Sox have initiated such dialogue, Buchholz — who would not be eligible for salary arbitration until after the 2011 season, and who would not reach free agency until after the 2014 season — suggested there is no urgency in the matter.

“I think time will take care of all that stuff,” said Buchholz. “I’€™m going to focus on playing, helping the team win, getting healthy and going from there.”

If Lester serves as a precedent, then a more likely time for the two sides to discuss a potential long-term deal would be next spring, prior to Buchholz’ final pre-arbitration season. It was at that time that Lester signed a five-year, $30 million deal with the Sox that bought out all of his arbitration years, his first free-agent season and included a team option that could keep him with the Sox through 2014.

Lester, who is also at his first All-Star Game, reiterated on Monday that he is thrilled to have signed his deal for the long-term security that it gave him and for the opportunity to remain in Boston for years to come. In fact, he already is thinking about the possibility of remaining with the Sox beyond his current deal.

“That’s why I did the deal. I got some good information coming up from different guys: Sean Casey, Josh [Beckett],” said Lester. “You can’t pass up that first one. It’s guaranteed. Stuff can always happen. People can look at it as a bad contract, but I don’t really care what people think about it. Me and my family are secure and we’re happy. That’s all I care about.

“The next one, hopefully, I stay in Boston. I would love to stay here for a long time. You don’t see people do that anymore. I’d love to stay here. Hopefully I’ll stay here, and hopefully we’ll be able to do it. That’s a couple years away, but it’s something I’ve always thought about, and hopefully it’s something we can get done at some point.”

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester,
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