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Jon Lester says he’d be open to return to Red Sox if traded

07.25.14 at 11:01 pm ET
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester is well aware of the significance of July 31, the trade deadline that looms over his team and could spell the end of his tenure in Boston. Yet the left-hander, after an impressive six-inning, two-run effort against the Rays that resulted in a no-decision in an eventual 6-4 loss to Tampa Bay, said he would harbor no ill-will towards the Sox if he was traded, and added that he’d be open to talking with the Red Sox about a possible return to Boston in the offseason.

“We all know what’s coming next week. We can only do one thing, that’s take one game at a time, show up tomorrow and try to win tomorrow,” said Lester.

As for the possibility that he might be traded, Lester seemed unfazed.

“Been there. I’ve been traded, been given back. I don’t think anything, especially in Boston, can surprise you,” Lester said, alluding to the deal that would have sent him to the Rangers (along with Manny Ramirez) in exchange for Alex Rodriguez — a swap that was nixed by the Players’ Association. “We all understand where we’re at. We understand it’s a business. And [GM Ben Cherington] and ownership have to do what’s right for this organization and if that means, whoever it may be, is traded for prospects or other guys or whatever, that’s just part of the business. We all understand it. I’ve been through it a couple times at a younger age. If that’s where they want to go with it, that’s fine. No hard feelings. Hopefully come November I’ll be right here and won’t have to worry about it.”

Asked whether that meant he was open to re-signing with the Sox even if traded, Lester didn’t hesitate.

“Yeah, why not? I mean, this is what I know. This is what I love,” said Lester. “Like I’ve said plenty of times, this is where I want to be. And if they trade me I completely understand. No hard feelings. I know what they have to do for their organization and if that involves me, so be it. If it doesn’t I’ll keep running out there every five days and pitching. And hopefully in November we get something done. Or October, whenever it is.”

Regardless of whether he is traded, Lester said that his approach to his profession will remain unchanged.

“I can’t worry about trade deadline or contracts or anything like that,” said Lester. “Prepare for that the best I can and if I’m pitching in this uniform, great, I’ll go out there and compete and do the best I can.”

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