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Heyman: Jon Lester unlikely to sign with the Sox this offseason

Aug 20, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

Jon Lester AP

Red Sox, that is. From Heyman:

Most folks around baseball would be surprised if Lester and the Red Sox could agree on a contract at a time other teams will be bidding hard for him. After all, the two sides couldn’t come close to doing it when they had a clear shot at contract. A return by Lester to Boston was dubbed a “long shot” by league officials who have familiarity with the situation.

While Lester himself said that he wasn’t necessarily going to the highest bidder, there are gonna be a lot of bidders for top pitching this coming winter. The Yankees and Cubs most obviously, but many other teams as well. Such reunions — a guy traded away before he walks walking back to the team that traded him — are pretty rare for lots of reasons.

Heyman talks about the dynamics of this coming offseason’s free agent pitcher market. He makes a pretty convincing case that guys like Lester and Max Scherzer are going to have their pick of landing spots.

  1. sdelmonte - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Mystery Team is already bidding.

    • teejayss - Aug 20, 2014 at 5:37 PM

      Nationals>Your Team

      • miguelcairo - Aug 20, 2014 at 6:48 PM


        Nationals < Pretty much any other team

  2. insley29 - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    They just aren’t going to overpay this guy, or anyone else for that matter in dollars or years. They like many other teams are tired of being burned and or burdened by crazy contracts. Its ok to let these guys go and move on. It was awesome while it lasted and he is a class guy all the way. Just time to move on for everyone.

  3. proudlycanadian - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    When did Boras become Lester’s agent?

    • SocraticGadfly - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      Correctamundo, if Heyman’s in the pic. That said, yeah, he’s not going to the lowest bidder either. Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers of course, and Giants wouldn’t surprise me. They can let Vogelsong walk at the end of this year, and Little Timmeh after next.

    • crackersnap - Aug 20, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      Boras realizes that top-rated players signing for below market value are very bad for his client comp research. So he needs to get his lapdog out in front of this narrative early.

  4. wilmyers09 - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    no duh bet he is happy to leave that crap town boston

    • sophiethegreatdane - Aug 20, 2014 at 5:05 PM

      That’s a little unnecessary. Boston is a lovely town. It would be fantastic if not for all the Red Sox fans.


      I kid, of course. I’m marrying one in 46 days. I have impaired judgement.

      • zebbers - Aug 20, 2014 at 7:09 PM

        Congrats none the less! :)

    • drewzducks - Aug 20, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      Shouldn’t your name be wilmyersE9 ?

    • vlock1 - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:03 PM

      No duh? Jesus, how old are you?

  5. SocraticGadfly - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Angels could be a player, too. Vernon Wells’ contract goes away after this year. So do those of Grilli and Joe Thatcher. That’s almost $25M right there.

    • SocraticGadfly - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:33 PM

      Flip side is that’s a lefty-heavy rotation for the Angels. Flip side to that is Santiago’s a scroogie pitcher.

    • Caught Looking - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      Are you forgetting that Hamilton’s contract jumps up by $8 million next season and both Weaver and C.J. Wilson jump by $2 million with Trout’s salary jumping by $10 million in 2016?

    • SocraticGadfly - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      At the same time, are you familiar that the Haloes also lose $10M of obligations to Blanton and Ibanez after this year? That out most of other stuff for 2015. Freese is an FA in 2016; he’ll walk. Ianetta’s a FA then too, and having a career year this year. If he asks too much, the Angels could let him walk.

      For their market size, their new teevee contract and everything, adding $10M or so a year to the current $155M isn’t ridiculous in today’s baseball world, or even close to it. $4M of that, above and beyond the original three contracts I mentioned, go to Lester. $2M goes to Wilson, with Hamilton’s $8M and Weaver’s $2M covered by Blanton/Ibanez. That leaves $4M of that $10M increase to go to arbitration increases and other miscellaneous.

      • quintjs - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:15 PM

        The Angels backloaded Hamilton’s contract – that is incredible – I guess it was Wells and Blanton but that is some logic.

        Why are we backloaded this contract? Well we cannot afford 25m at the moment due to all the contracts we have for guys past their prime that are still being paid top-dollar, so we will backload this contract for a guy who in entering his decline phase – that cannot possibly go wrong.. again.. and after Pujols…

        Having to backload contracts is a pretty good sign you shouldn’t be signing the player to begin with.

  6. Bob Loblaw - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    All the more reason why 4 years/$96 million or 5 years/$110 million for Hamels, who is superior to both Lester and Scherzer, would be a steal, provided the Phillies remove Amaro and bring in someone who knows how to get good value without asking for the other team’s top 3 prospects+.

  7. jrbdmb - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    I hear Lester is now leaning towards going to the Cubs next year to show his solidarity with the Wrigley Field grounds crew.

    • SocraticGadfly - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      They need a left-handed roller, right? :)

  8. kingscourt25 - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Why would anyone sign w/ the Cubs on the pretense of prospects possibility or possibility not planning out? the NL Central has also been the best in baseball the last 2 seasons.

    He’s going to be the most sought after pitcher because the no draft comp.

  9. dluxxx - Aug 20, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    Twins are gonna swoop in and get both Lester and Scherzer! They have the cap space and….
    Oh wait, they’re the Twins. Never mind…

    • happytwinsfan - Aug 20, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      Speaking of swooping in for the big buck multi year contract, isn’t Nolasco pitching tonight? Be careful what you wish for.

  10. sophiethegreatdane - Aug 20, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    Surely this report is wrong. All we heard

    • sophiethegreatdane - Aug 20, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      Dang mobile phones. Sorry for the incomplete posting.

  11. sophiethegreatdane - Aug 20, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Surely this report is wrong. All we heard for days after the Lester trade was just how great it will be when he zips back into the arms of the Red Sox at a reduced rate.

  12. tbutler704 - Aug 20, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    Maybe he always hated that creepy Neil Diamond song they sing at Fenway.

    • slappymcknucklepunch - Aug 21, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      Old Gator is that you under a throwaway account?

  13. irishlad19 - Aug 20, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    Theo has been salivating about Lester since the trade, and he has the $ and the young prospects to entice Jon.
    I expect the BoSox to make an offer, not over 5 years and about $125-140. Let’s see how badly Mrs. Lester wants to go back to Beantown!

    • SocraticGadfly - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:55 PM

      I think you’re right on the years, but I don’t see them going above $115M. Per what I said above about the Angels, 5/140 would be 28M/year, and would just be covered as part of that 10M/year overall increase.

      • irishlad19 - Aug 21, 2014 at 6:06 AM

        It must be nice to be Jon Lester these days.

  14. petey1999 - Aug 20, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Breaking news…Heyman has a 50% chance of being right. Of course, as we know, in baseball you can fail 67% of the time and still get into the HOF.

  15. miguelcairo - Aug 20, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    I’m surprised we needed Heyman to say this before we could actually just put it together ourselves.

  16. booboo31 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    stop kidding around he’s returning to Red Sox, period. this is almost as silly as when everyone thought Melo wasn’t resigning with New York

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 21, 2014 at 5:30 AM

      Totally different situation, the Knicks could pay Melo more than anyone else, and only one other team was bidding on him. Lester can take offers from 30 teams and the sky’s the limit. He may decide he wants to pitch closer to home. He may follow the money. He may decide he wants the best possible shot at more World Series championships (in which case the list does definitely not start with Boston.)

  17. jolink653 - Aug 21, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Just what the Yankees need: more severely overpriced pitching. Never mind the anemic offense. Let’s spend lots of money on more pitching. Hell, let’s bring in Scherzer and Lester

  18. daddeeo - Aug 21, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Pinstripes coming Lester’s way. The Yanks have the $ and know the psych value. Get ready to see it Boston!

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