BOSTON (CBS) — When Jon Lester was traded away to the Oakland A’s, it appeared as though the Red Sox simply weren’t willing to spend the money that would be necessary to keep the ace left-hander. However, shortly after the trade, it was reported that the Red Sox do intend to aggressively pursue Lester in free agency, and this week, Lester said he remains open to the idea of returning to Boston.

“I don’t need to be blown out of the water,” Lester told the Boston Herald’s John Tomase in Kansas City. “I’m not going to the highest bidder. I’m going to the place that makes me and my family happy. If that’s Boston, it’s Boston.”

Lester allowed three runs over six innings on Tuesday night, earning his third win in as many starts with the Oakland A’s while halting Kansas City’s winning streak at eight games. Lester is now 13-7 with a 2.51 on the season, and he’s on pace to cash in with a significant cash windfall this winter. In fact, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan made the case that Lester is having the best free-agent season by a pitcher in the last 15 years.

Yet despite the fact that he could command a massive payday, Lester said he isn’t aiming to make every last dollar.

“In the greater scheme of things, we’re talking about just a stupid amount of money,” Lester told the Herald. “For me, I want to be comfortable. The way I look at it is, if someone gives you $170 million and someone gives you $150 million, is that $20 million really going to change your lifestyle?”

Ultimately, Lester made it loud and clear to Red Sox management that if the team wants him this winter, he’s more than willing to return.

“My time there, the memories and all that stuff don’t get erased based on this whole ordeal,” Lester told the Herald. “I’m glad with where I’m at, and I understood where Ben [Cherington] was at. At the end of the season, it’s not going to change my mind about going back there if they are aggressive and competitive and do the things they say they’re going to do. Boston is definitely a place I would go.”


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