Boston Red Sox ace Jon Lester is due to be a free agent at season’s end. Coming off a stellar season in which he went 15-8 and helped lead the team to a World Series title, the left-handed starter stands to have a big payday if he ever hits free agency.
Lester hopes he never is a free agent, however. Speaking to reporters at an award dinner in Boston, Lester said his number one priority is to remain with the Red Sox (quotes from Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe):
These guys are my No. 1 priority…I understand to stay here you’re not going to get a free agent deal. You’re not going to do it. It’s not possible. You’re bidding against one team. I understand you’re going to take a discount to stay…
“…Do I want to do that? Absolutely. But like [the Red Sox] want it to be fair to them, I want it to be fair for me and my family. If we can get to something is spring training, that would be awesome.”
The starting rotation was the central reason for the Red Sox making an improbable run. So much of that runs through Lester, so I imagine this was welcome news to them (video from the Boston Globe).