BOSTON (CBS) – The Red Sox had their chance in spring training to make a solid offer to Jon Lester and his representatives on a long-term deal.
Instead, they reportedly began the negotiation with a laughable four-year, $70 million offer — laughable when you consider other general managers around the league would double offer that, according to Jon Heyman.
Lester now wants to wait until the end of the season to get something done, and it appears the Red Sox could have a contingency plan if the Lester talks fall through.
In a recent article in the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels “makes perfect sense” for the Red Sox, because “his contract is precisely the contract the Sox want for a no. 1 pitcher. It has four years remaining at about $90 million.”
The one caveat is that the Phillies are seeking no less than three top young players before they would even consider dealing Hamels.
98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show discussed this very topic Thursday morning and let’s just say they were not on board. Fred Toucher believes a trade for Hamels, while losing Lester, would signal a big mistake by the team.
“Hamels has been pretty good in the playoffs but he certainly hasn’t had the run like Lester did last year. Lester in that World Series game was just lights out,” said Fred. “If you trade for Cole Hamels and give up the farm for him what you’re basically saying is you’re too cheap and you misplayed the Lester situation so badly you had to do a make-good.”
Jon Wallach has said time and time again that the Red Sox need to do whatever it takes to bring Lester back, and he reiterated that point on Thursday.
“They need to bring back Jon Lester. He’s a guy that wants to be here. He can tutor the young guys and has shown that he can do it in Boston,” said Wallach. “You saw what Nick Cafardo wrote. Obviously they don’t want to pay a guy $25 million, they’d rather pay him $22.5 million which is essentially what Hamels makes.
Fred adds that money should never — especially with Jon Lester — be an issue for the Red Sox. Plus, giving up prospects for Hamels would do you no good in the long run.
“You have all this money. You have the highest ticket price in baseball. You have a rich TV deal. You have all these things going in your favor and you’re going to deal all of these chips? Even if you think your farm system is stacked, this precludes you from getting an outfield bat,” said Fred.
“You can get Lester without giving anything up and you can use these prospects to acquire some kind of power hitter for your outfield. Jon Lester and Cole Hamels are interchangeable. Fine. But it’s the prospects that are involved for acquiring Cole Hamels that I think you should have a problem with,” Fred said in closing.
Listen below for the full discussion: