Red Sox brass holds long meeting with Lester’s agent

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington reportedly met with Jon Lester’s agent for an “extended period of time” on Tuesday night, according to a tweet from WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford.

Keep in mind, the two sides had discussed a potential extension prior to the July 31 trade that sent Lester and Jonny Gomes to Oakland in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes. Now a free agent, however, Lester is in the market for a long-term contract — something the Red Sox have been hesitant to dish out in recent years, especially to starting pitchers over the age of 30.

That said, the Red Sox could be willing to make an exception this offseason, if it means bringing aboard a top-end starter such as Lester, Max Scherzer or James Shields.

“I think we’ve always said we have a preference toward those [shorter-term deals], but it’s never been a hard policy,” Cherington said. “We’ve made some exceptions, and I’m sure there will another exception. So it’s a case-by-case thing. If all the boxes are checked, I’m sure there will be a longer-term deal that makes sense just as we’ve done on some of those in the past.”

The fact that Cherington is even meeting with Lester’s agent suggests the Red Sox are at least open to making such an exception in Lester’s case. Though nothing concrete has been reported to come out of the meeting as of yet, it is certainly a situation worth monitoring going forward.

— Paul Casella

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