Sources: Jon Lester would listen during season if Red Sox offer led to short negotiations
|07.04.14 at 10:20 pm ET|
Not so fast.
While CBS Sports reported Friday that Jon Lester had told the Red Sox he would not be inclined to negotiate a contract extension during the season — citing the pitcher’s desire to focus on his (and the team’s) performance on the field — multiple industry sources indicate there is no set-in-stone mandate to wait to rekindle talks until the offseason.
According to the sources, if the Red Sox presented an offer that would facilitate a short negotiating process then Lester would, indeed, listen.
The Red Sox recently attempted to re-engage in talks with the pitcher, but without indications an offer would be made resulting in an abbreviated negotiations, Lester expressed the desire to hold off on further contract discussions.
The team has seemingly taken the approach of starting on the low end of Lester’s perceived market value, coming in with an initial offer of four years at $70 million. It is the same strategy taken by the Red Sox in talks with Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury.
It is believed that an offer in the vicinity of five years, $120 million — which would be somewhat in line with what Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels signed for when inking his six-year, $144 million (with a $20 million club option for 2019) — would be in the neighborhood of what might lead Lester to giving the go-ahead for talks to resume.
(For what it’s worth, Hamels signed his deal on July 25.)
Since breaking off talks at the end of spring training, Lester has consistently expressed a desire to keep all focus on his pitching performance, not contract discussions.
In 17 starts this season, the lefty has a 9-7 record with a 2.92 ERA in 114 innings, striking out 115 and walking 29. He is scheduled to start the first game of the Red Sox’ doubleheader against the Orioles, Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park.
Latest from Bleacher Report
- MLB Reportedly 'Looking Into' Ortiz's Comments for Tampering
- Red Sox Pay Heavy, but Necessary Price to Go for It with Pomeranz
- Moncada Primed to Make Phenom-Loaded Red Sox Even Richer
- Craig Kimbrel Injury Updates on Recovery from Knee Surgery
- Latest on Brad Ziegler to Red Sox
- Brewers Trade INF Aaron Hill to Red Sox
- Bradley, Betts, and Bogaerts Give MLB a New-Age 'Killer B's'
- Cup of Coffee: Benintendi debuts in left, Basabe stays hot
- Cup of Coffee: Boyd spins gem, Hill stays hot
- Cup of Coffee: Mendoza leads DSL 1 in lone affiliate victory
- Scouting Scratch: Tate Matheny and Kyri Washington
- Cup of Coffee: Kent dominates, Devers scores game-winner
- Cup of Coffee: Moncada homers twice, Kopech strikes out nine
- Podcast Ep. #102: Groome signs, Dave deals, podcast delivered
- Weekly Notes: Groome signs, Espinoza traded, Marrero is All-Star MVP
- Cup of Coffee: Salem walks off, Hill rakes in Lowell loss
- Cup of Coffee: Basabe reaches base four times for Greenville