BOSTON (CBS) – The win-loss record doesn’t show it, but Jon Lester is having himself a heck of a year.
He’s 6-6 with a 3.15 earned run average, which, if the season ended today, would be the best of his career. He’s the unquestioned ace of the staff and at 30 years old he’s proven to be durable throughout his career, regularly taking the mound over 30 times per season.
Lester keeps pitching great and his worth is rising after each and every start. He’s going to command top dollar in the offseason when he’s a free agent, and the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy doesn’t think the team will re-sign him.
He explained why Tuesday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zolak.
“I don’t feel like they’re going to sign [Lester]. The percentage of him leaving grows by the day. You work for your free agency, six years of big league pitching, you get there and they don’t present themselves as competitive in spring training with their offer. You start the season and they’re basically daring you to go out and have a good year — and he’s doing that. For the player and his agent, as the days go by here there’s way less reason to do [a deal.
“This is going to be a test of a lot of things, whether in fact the Red Sox have a policy and draw the line at five years, or draw the line at $100 million and say we’re not going over that anymore and behave like a small, mid-market team with the highest prices in baseball. What happens if he goes to the Yankees? He’s demonstrated he can pitch in this market, and pitch in big games with this market.
“I understand everybody is sketchy about long term deals for baseball players because they very rarely come home. He’s at his peak. He’s 30 and a power lefty who can pitch in big games.
“When you work this hard for your free agency and the team doesn’t step up to this point, why would you sign on the dotted line? … Unless there’s some rumblings behind the scenes that we don’t know about, this does not bode well for the Red Sox chances [of signing him].”
MORE RED SOX COVERAGE FROM CBS BOSTON