BOSTON (CBS) – Red Sox lefty ace Jon Lester attended the BBWAA dinner last night in Boston, and in speaking to reporters revealed he would like to stay with the team on a Dustin Pedroia-like deal.
Pedroia’s extension was for 8 years and $110 million for an average annual value of $13.75 million – if Red Sox fans thinks Lester will take that AAV, they’re dreaming.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe appeared on Toucher & Rich Friday morning, and he believes Lester will sign for below market value with the Red Sox, but he’d still like to set his family up for life with a big deal.
“He might not get as much money as he would if he went to be a free agent, but I don’t think he’s going to leave a significant amount of money on the table.”
“I think he’s talking maybe he would settle with the Red Sox for one less year than he would if he went out and became a free agent. But I don’t think this will be the kind of thing where he could have made $50 million more if he went somewhere else. I think he’s talking more of a modest discount, because there’s a lot of money to be made as a starting pitcher.”
Left-handed starting pitchers that consistently throw over 200 innings come at a premium, and when you add in the fact he’s won two World Series that increases his value even more.
Abraham says if a deal isn’t struck by the end of spring training then it’ll likely be signed by the All Star break, and the negotiation doesn’t seem like it’ll be a very contentious one.
“It does sound like that’s the path they’re headed down. Everybody’s talking about getting together, and how it’ll be easy. It sounds like everyone wants to get this extension done.”
General manager Ben Cherington and the Red Sox have not yet spoken to Lester or his people about an extension. This is due in part to their desire of speaking face-to-face in Fort Myers.
“I would suspect that given as much as he pitched last year, they probably want to see him pitch a little bit in spring training to see if he’s healthy before they start talking about giving him well over $100 million.”
Listen below for the full discussion, where Abraham discusses the Grady Sizemore signing and other Red Sox items: