The Red Sox and Jon Lester are done talking about a contract extension for the time being. Sox president Larry Lucchino confirmed in a Thursday morning radio appearance that Lester has asked for negotiations to be put off until after the season.
[Ben Cherington] may still have some continuing discussion with [agent] Seth [Levinson] on other issues or other matters, but certainly the negotiation, the parties have agreed to let’s step away and do this after the season. Jon made very clear to us that that was his preference.
Lester doesn’t want to get distracted by contract squabbles in the middle of the season. Because he’s a team guy.
Lucchino didn’t want to get into any further details, fearing he might damage his relationship with Lester:
I think that your listeners care about whether Jon Lester is likely to stay as a member of the Boston Red Sox for future years. And that probability will be diminished if we talk prematurely or excessively about various stages of the negotiation along the way. That’s not the way to sign Jon Lester. I know it makes for less good radio because you don’t have stages and details and ‘Who shot Jon’ analysis of various parts of the negotiation. But if the goal is to sign Jon Lester, it seems to me, and to keep him a member of the Boston Red Sox, again, negotiation on the radio waves is not the way to do it.
Radio waves are never a great way to negotiate. Telegrams don’t work well either. Pony Express, also bad. Smoke signals, not ideal. Face-to-face is the way to go when it comes to hashing out contracts with pitchers.
Does this development increase the possibility of Lester being dealt before the deadline? Stay tuned.
Want to see Lester on the mound this year? Grab Red Sox tickets now for any game during the second half of the season!