Jon Lester on The Bradfo Show: ‘I want to be here, I think they want me to be here’
|06.16.14 at 9:25 am ET|
Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester joined Rob Bradford on The Bradfo Show podcast to talk about the possibility of getting traded, as well as the mindset needed to handle the constant threat of being dealt to another team. To listen to the interview, go to The Bradfo Show audio on demand page.
Despite a lackluster 7-7 record, Lester has once again proved to be one of the top southpaws in the American League this season with a 3.33 ERA and 99 strikeouts (seventh in the AL) in 14 starts.
However, Boston’s disappointing record so far in 2014, coupled with the uncertainty of the team being able to resign the 30-year-old to a new contract this offseason, has led some to believe that Lester is a prime candidate to be traded in order to get some value during a lost season.
While Lester stated that he wants to remain in Boston, the two-time All-Star also acknowledged that trades are just part of the game.
“I think every year when you get to the trade deadline, that’s always a possibility,” Lester said. “How great a possibility it is, I don’t know because you’re not in that room, you’re not making the phone calls. I think this year, given the unique situation we could be in at that time, I don’t know. I always said, if they feel like trading me is going to make the Boston Red Sox better for the future, then no hard feelings. Like I said, it’s business.
“I want to be here, I think they want me to be here. But like I said, at the same time, I’m sure they wanted [Adrian Gonzalez] and [Carl Crawford] and [Josh Beckett] and [Nick Punto] to be here, but they needed to make a decision for the greater good for the future. That’s what they had to do. If that’s what they have to do then that’s what they have to do. There wouldn’t be any hard feelings. I would still think of my time here as great, cherish every minute that I was here, go about my business wherever I go. … This game isn’t stable. As much as we’d like to make it stable, it’s not.’
Lester continued: “Like I said, if they get to that position and they feel it’s necessary, then it is. I can’t stop it. I can’t do anything and I can’t say anything. There’s nothing you can do. If you get traded, you get traded and you try to make the best of it. … If they did, I’d understand. It would probably be a pretty sad time, but at the same time exciting and all those things we talked about before.
“I’ve always tried to take that mindset going into the deadline, because if you sit there and worry about it and contemplate and get on the Internet and try to figure out where you think you’re going and find out all those things, it’s just unnecessary stress and thoughts you don’t want.”
While Lester has spent his entire eight-year career in Boston, he also noted that he has been mentioned in trade rumors before. During the 2007 offseason, Lester was one of the mentioned chips that would be dealt to the Twins in a potential trade for Minnesota ace Johan Santana. The move eventually fell through, as Santana was eventually sent to the Mets on Feb. 2, 2008.
“I think I’ve actually been traded twice and either one didn’t go through and the other one at the last second got pulled back,” Lester said. “It’s something I’ve been a part of. I think that’s why I have the mindset I have now. I’ve been traded and gone back to the team that traded me, so it is what it is.
“I get a call, ‘Hey you’ve been traded to the Rangers,’ OK, great. That’s cool. A day later, ‘Hey, you’re back with the Red Sox because the deal didn’t go through.’ Obviously a lot of mixed emotions. Spring training was a little weird. Then I think the Johan Santana thing, they were trying to get him. That got pulled off the table right at the last minute.”
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