Has Lester earned himself a new deal? Or will he be traded?
The Red Sox are faced with big decision's all season long regarding Ace, Jon Lester. The Sox and Lester tried hard in the offseason and spring training to hammer out a deal, to keep the pitcher in a Sox uniform through the rest of his prime and towards the end of his career. That was the plan initially. Even Lester himself was sure a deal would materialize and eventually get done, telling Sox brass that he would take a hometown discount to get it done and to sign future free agents in the future. His reward?
A 4 year, $80 million dollar deal.
Sorry, that is not going to get it done.
I have said many times in the past that I can't stand the fact that all professional athlete's think they are worth this and that. At the end of the day and you're remotely good at whatever sport you may play, you're set for life. But that is topic for another discussion.
Lester, I believe has earned the right to get a nice contract extension from the Red Hose. The market for starting pitching is always inflated. Especially pitchers of his caliber. And being the fact that he's a lefty starter, his services will come at a premium. I'm not saying he should get a contract like Clayton Kershaw or anything like that. But he deserve's something much more then 4 years and more then $80 million. He's brought you two World Series championships in '07 and '13 as your ace. He's really only had one bad season under his belt. He's been consistent and pitching in Major League Baseball's toughest division, to have a 3.50 ERA or lower as quite an accomplishment in itself. I believe he's earned himself a 5 to 7 year contract, worth upwards of $150 million or more. That's just how the market is for quality starting pitchers.
With the Red Sox stumbling right out of the gate, at one point losing 10 games in a row, you have to wonder if they are going to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. If they find themselves as sellers, there is a good chance they will at least take a look at unloading Lester to a contender who is willing to give up their farm system. I for one think that even if the Red Sox are cellar dwellers, that they need to do what they can to keep Lester. If you have aspirations of making the playoff's year in and year out, having Lester gives you that opportunity. Giving him up won't help your cause any. He has pitched himself into a lucrative contract situation, so if I'm Boston I'm keeping him and I'm keeping him long term. You have to. Big lefty's do no grow on trees. He's an innings eater. He's a good starting pitcher. Someone everyone would covet. You have him in your grasp, you keep him.