Lester returning to Boston?
Jon Lester could be shipping up to Boston.
According to ESPN’s Gordon Edes, one baseball executive predicts the Red Sox will sign Lester despite the club’s mandate not to give long-term contracts to starting pitchers over 30 years old. Lester, dealt by the Red Sox to Oakland in July, turns 31 in January.
It makes sense that the Red Sox would make an exception to sign Lester. They need starting pitching, Lester is arguably the best on the market and is coming off a season in which he posted a career-best 2.46 ERA. The left-hander was drafted and developed by the Red Sox and helped the club win the World Series in 2007 and ’13.
So what would it take to bring Lester back to Boston?
The Red Sox are reportedly mulling a six-year deal worth at least $20 million per year, according to Edes. Lester and his agent might be able to fetch a larger sum from other suitors, but it’s entirely possible that he takes a bit of a discount to pitch for the only big league club he knew before going to Oakland for the final two months of this season. Red Sox brass made it clear they wanted to bring Lester back after trading him to the A’s, and Lester still has a number of close friends in the Sox clubhouse.
The Red Sox are always a major player in free agency, so it will be interesting to see where Lester ends up.