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Red Sox and Jon Lester still have mutual interest in an extension

Mar 1, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT

Jon Lester Getty Getty Images

Jon Lester said last month that he would be willing to take a discount in order to stay with the Red Sox for the long-term. While he’s currently due to hit free agency after the season, he recently told CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman that he’s still hoping to work out an extension with Boston.

“I don’t like change,” Lester said in an interview with CBSSports.com about a week ago. “I like being where I’ve been. I like the people. I like the surroundings. It feels like home.”

While Lester would like to get a deal done before Opening Day, he won’t put a deadline on talks. As for the Red Sox, they spoke in more general terms, but it’s clear they’d like to keep him if the price is right.

“We appreciate him saying he wants to be a Red Sox. We’re crazy about him,” Werner said, speaking while standing next to Henry.

“We’d all love him to stay and hope he’s pitching for the Red Sox past this year,” Werner continued. “He’s been such a valuable player for us. It would be a great deal for the organization if we can figure out an extension.”

We could see some movement soon, as Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reported yesterday that Lester’s agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, arrived in Red Sox camp.

After a career-worst 4.82 ERA in 2012, Lester bounced back last season by posting a 3.75 ERA in 33 regular season starts and a 1.75 ERA in five postseason starts. He’ll turn 31 years old next January, so a five-year extension in the range of $100 million is a possible benchmark.

  1. uyf1950 - Mar 1, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Even a team friendly deal is likely to cost the Red Sox 5 years / $110 to $115MM total and probably a 6th year option at $25MM. Overall I would be very surprised if a team friendly deal didn’t cost the Sox about $140MM over 6 years with that option. Considering he’ll only be 31 in January 2015 I don’t see a 6 year deal as an issue. It would be a good deal for Lester and a very good deal for the Sox as long as Lester doesn’t go into some sort of funk during the contract.

  2. tfbuckfutter - Mar 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    It’s a tough time for both sides to be talking extension.

    Lester had a nice bounce back year last year, and played very well, but he was still below his own career averages. I’d like to see another ace-quality season before a long term deal….but obviously that drives up the cost.

    • jcmeyer10 - Mar 1, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      That’s why I don’t necessarily envy the GM position. It’s like gambling, but when you lose you have a whole fan base criticizing you, not just your wife :D

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 1, 2014 at 4:25 PM

        Depends on which Fans/Wife you’re talking about.

        Some fan bases are critical wives. Some are supportive (these are fans who say “Well, maybe Delmon Young will turn it around. This could end up being really shrewd”). And some are just the overly-involved ones who think everything their GM/husband does is the right move (“We got Delmon Young for only $3,000,000? YES!”)

  3. slaugin - Mar 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    I’d like to see a 5 year deal while tearing up this years deal with an AAV of 19-21 Mil.

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