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Source: Jon Lester to meet with at least 2 more teams next week 11.21.14 at 5:11 pm ET
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After meeting with the Red Sox, Cubs and Braves this week, Jon Lester is scheduled to meet with at least two more teams next week, according to a source.

After Lester’s meeting with the Red Sox, a source said the Red Sox have made it clear that there will be a “willingness to negotiate.” Lester’s agent, Seth Levinson, said in an email to WEEI.com that the Red Sox “extended great respect” to Lester.

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Source: Red Sox showing ‘willingness to negotiate’ with Jon Lester after initial offer 11.19.14 at 8:07 pm ET
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According to a source familiar with the situation, the Red Sox have made it clear that there will be a “willingness to negotiate” with Jon Lester and his representatives after extending an offer during the two sides’ meeting earlier this week.

While a Boston Globe report suggested the Sox’ offer was for six years at between $110-120 million, the source suggested the team’s initial offseason proposal was part of a more complex discussion about potential contract parameters.

Earlier Wednesday, one of Lester’s agents, Seth Levinson of ACES, emailed WEEI.com to state, “I will not comment on negotiations nor will I characterize a meeting other than to say that the Red Sox extended great respect to Jon.”

With a source suggesting six teams expressing “legitimate interest” as of last week, it is believed that the Red Sox would have to come up dramatically from their perceived comfort level prior to trading Lester at the non-waiver trade deadline. After a spring training offer of four years, $70 million, no formal proposals were extended by either side until the one this week.

Lester was slated to meet with the Braves Thursday after having already conducted get-togethers with both the Red Sox and Cubs (Tuesday).

Agent: ‘Red Sox extended great respect to Jon [Lester]‘ 11.19.14 at 2:19 pm ET
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While it is known the Red Sox ownership group extended an offer to Jon Lester during their meeting earlier this week, and that Lester also met with the Cubs Tuesday while planning on getting together with Atlanta Thursday, little is known about the particulars of the Sox negotiations with the lefty.

One of Lester’s agents, Seth Levinson, did reply in an email when asked about the landscape, writing, “I will not comment on negotiations nor will I characterize a meeting other than to say that the Red Sox extended great respect to Jon.”

A source told WEEI.com during the general managers’ meetings in Phoenix that six teams had shown “legitimate interest” in the free agent pitcher, with the Red Sox, Cubs, Braves and Blue Jays known to be part of that group. Seattle, Lester’s hometown team, is not believed to be one of the interested parties.

Another Red Sox free agent target, Pablo Sandoval, had not been offered a contract by the Red Sox as of mid-afternoon Wednesday, according to MLB.com.

Jon Lester’s next stop will be to meet with Braves 11.18.14 at 10:38 am ET
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A major league source confirmed Buster Olney’s tweet stating that Jon Lester will be meeting with the Braves later this week.

Lester has already met with the Red Sox ownership, and was slated to get together with the Cubs Tuesday. Toronto is also known to have interest, along with at least two other teams.

The Braves are an interesting option for the free agent pitcher considering Lester just built a home in the Atlanta area. They just traded for starting pitcher Shelby Miller, with Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, Mike Minor and Miller currently slotted in as their starters.

There was some doubt Atlanta would be in the mix for Lester considering their budget limitations, having possessed a $112 million payroll in ’14. The Braves currently have approximately $70 million tied up to just seven roster spots.

Jon Lester will have met with Red Sox owners before Cubs 11.17.14 at 3:11 pm ET
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According to a major league source, the Red Sox‘ ownership group will have met with Jon Lester and his representatives prior to the Cubs’ get-together with the pitcher, which is slated for Tuesday.

According to another source, Lester has drawn “significant interest” from six clubs, which includes the Red Sox, Cubs and Blue Jays (as was reported by WEEI.com Monday).

For more updates, go to the Red Sox page at weei.com/redsox.

Source: Red Sox never engaged on Jason Heyward 11.17.14 at 12:56 pm ET
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In some respects, it made some sense.

Even with a glut of outfielders, the Red Sox‘ rumored interest in Braves outfielder Jason Heyward seemed plausible. If there was some juggling to the roster, a case to trade for the lefty hitter could be made.

Heyward will be eligible for free agency following the 2015 season, but bringing along the 25 year old’s offensive and defensive skill-set at the right price seemingly deserved some consideration.

But, according to a major league source, the Red Sox never did go down that road.

Monday, Heyward was dealt to the Cardinals, along with Jordan Walden, for pitcher Shelby Miller and prospect Tyrell Jenkins. The Red Sox, according the source, never engaged in trade talks with the Braves for the outfielder.

Heyward is a two-time National League Gold Glove winner (having claimed the award for ’14), while hitting .271 with 11 homers and a .735 OPS in 149 games last season.

Sources: Blue Jays continue to show interest in Jon Lester 11.17.14 at 12:38 pm ET
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The Blue Jays evidently aren’t messing around this offseason.

While getting free agent catcher Russell Martin to a five-year, $82 million contract (as first reported by Peter Gammons, Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal) served as one of the Jays’ largest offseason commitments in team history, they evidently aren’t intent on stopping there.

According to multiple major league sources, the Blue Jays remain as one of the six clubs to continue to show legitimate interest in free agent pitcher Jon Lester. Also known to be pursuing the lefty are the Cubs and Red Sox, both of whom are expected to meet with the pitcher this week.

According to Cots Contracts, the Blue Jays’ payroll landed at $137,770,000 last season, with Mark Buehrle slated to make the most money of any player on the roster in ’15 ($19 million).

The Martin signing potentially frees up more money for the Cubs, who were thought to be the other the finalists for the 32 year old catcher’s services. It has been reported Lester is scheduled to meet with Chicago Tuesday.

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