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Last week, CBS Sports reported that a contract extension for Red Sox ace Jon Lester would not come during the season, making the lefthander a free agent for the first time in his career after the season.
According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, Lester would consider negotiating with the team during the season, as long as there is an indication it would be a brief process instead of a process drawn out over several weeks.
This would be great news for the Red Sox, who should do what they can to secure Lester, who has nailed down a 9-7 record on this mediocre Red Sox squad. The hurler has a 2.92 ERA in 114 innings, with 115 strikeouts and 29 walks this season.
The initial offer of 4 years and $70 million was turned down by Lester in spring training, and the school of thinking sees Lester eventually signing for 5 years and $125 million in a deal similar to what Cole Hamels received from the Phillies (6 yeara, $144 million). This would make him the highest paid player (AAV) in team history, and the five-year contract length is definitely something the Red Sox would be more comfortable with than the alternative (6+ years).
Lester did say he would take a hometown discount, and if that means only settling for five years and $25 million per year, then the Red Sox could do far worse. If I were to place a bet at SportsBettingInfo.com, I’d wager that the Sox get this deal done, whether it’s during the season or afterward.