Michael Hurley of CBS Boston Sports joined Rich Keefe on Monday night, and after discussing expectations for the 2014 Patriots, the conversation turned to the Red Sox.
With the biggest story surrounding the Sox being what looks like an inevitable trade of Jon Lester prior to Thursday’s deadline, Hurley said the team has reasons to trade away Lester, but it still shouldn’t sit well with fans.
“I see where they’re coming from,” Hurley said. “I think they’re thinking that they maximized the value on this pitcher. They basically got 1,500 innings for something like $5 million a year for nine years. So when they look at it that way, it’s hard for them to figure. It’s sort of like with Jacoby Ellsbury — it’s hard for them to figure those big dollars for years that are going to be less productive.
“But on the other side of it, if you’re a fan, this can’t make you happy at all. Because if you can’t get behind Jon Lester and invest all of your emotion in this guy, then who can you invest in? This is a guy who’s done everything right. You saw him beat cancer, you saw him win the World Series twice, you’ve seen him just do everything right. Even in the chicken and beer fiasco, he sort of escaped unscathed. He apologized, he was contrite and he never seemed to really veer off any path except doing everything right.
“So when you’re paying the highest ticket prices in baseball, and you’re dropping 9 bucks a beer, and the franchise is worth over a billion dollars, it’s hard to really stomach letting this guy go. So business-wise, I understand why they’re doing it, but I don’t think it’s going to go over too well when they say goodbye to Jon Lester.”
Keefe then asked if it would be at all possible for Lester to sign with the Sox in the offseason, even if he gets traded away this week, or is he gone for good?
“I would hope so, for his sake. He’s not going to get the money here,” Hurley said. “It’s pretty clear. They made it clear in February that they’re just not going to pay him. I think he’s done everything to get that next big money contract, and if he comes here, that means he accepted much less than he’s worth. So for his sake, I hope he goes to the highest bidder next year, because I think that’s a guy you can root for and a guy you can be happy for, actually — which in the sport of baseball is increasingly rare.”
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