WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford recently made an interesting observation. If it wasn’t for Jon Lester signing a five-year contract with the Sox back in ’09, he would join the list of free agents currently on the market today.
Lester, 28, did not have a pretty 2012 season. He had a record of 9-14 with a 4.82 ERA in 33 starts. Perhaps the 2013 season will give Lester a chance to redeem himself and possibly talk contract with the organization. He made $7.625 million this season, and will make over $11 million next season. His contract includes a 2014 team option, in which he would make $13 million.
Despite a downhill season, Bradford points out that from 2006-11, Lester tallied fourth most wins by a LHP in baseball (76), and managed the sixth-best ERA (3.53).
Should the Red Sox offer Lester a contract to extend his time in Beantown, he would have a huge decision to make. He says he has no problem with conversing.
“We’ll see,” said Lester on the final day of the ’12 season. “This probably isn’t the best year to talk about it. I’m always open. I’ll listen. We can always talk. I have no problem with dialogue. I have no problem with sitting down and seeing where they’re at, and seeing where we’re at.”
It will be interesting to see what choices Jon Lester and/or the Red Sox Organization will choose to make in the 2013 season with the new leader.
Overall, the Red Sox should see how Lester performs before talking contract matter. He has to work well on the field, and keep a positive attitude in the clubhouse. He did have a small outburst this past season in the dugout, where he was reportedly seen throwing sunflower seeds in the face of Red Sox Coach Alex Ochoa (click here to view the YouTube video).
Only time will tell us if the Red Sox should negotiate with Lester. If he does not meet expectations for the 2013 season, he will be out the door without a doubt. If the Sox like what he is doing, they will make him an offer.