Red Sox Free Agency: Lack of interest in a Jon Lester reunion is baffling

CHICAGO, IL- JULY 22: Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the Minnesota Twins during an exhibition game at Wrigley Field on July 22, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL- JULY 22: Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the Minnesota Twins during an exhibition game at Wrigley Field on July 22, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

The Red Sox have yet to show any interest in Jon Lester

In an offseason where the Boston Red Sox are in dire need of pitching support, they’ve yet to reach out to a familiar face. Jon Lester has once again hit the free-agent market and has expressed a desire to end his career where it all began. Considering the current shape of the starting rotation, it would be wise for the organization to reach out to the veteran lefty to add to the ranks.

Per Rob Bradford of WEEI, Lester isn’t factoring into Boston’s plans for their pitching staff. Now, that could all change as teams and players begin to get into the thick of things with the 2021 season quickly approaching. Lester should garner some attention as we inch closer to spring training, it’s just a matter of who makes the call first.

For the Red Sox, having a veteran arm in the rotation wouldn’t hurt considering the shambles that it’s currently in. Eduardo Rodriguez should be back to full strength when it comes time to head to Fort Myers. Chris Sale is targeting a mid-summer return to the mound just in time to aid Boston in their second-half hopes. Nathan Eovaldi will look to mimic his 2020 form as the anchor of the staff. Rounding out the starters will likely be the recently acquired Nick Pivetta and rookie hurler Tanner Houck.

Boston definitely has the building blocks to what could be a solid foundation but they’re missing some key structural pieces. Eovaldi is an often injured inconsistent fireballer who at any time can go from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. E-Rod and Sale will carry massive question marks surrounding their health in 2021 even if given the go-ahead from the medical team. So not approach Lester with an offer that would allow him to end his career with the Red Sox?

This past season the veteran southpaw posted a 3-3 record with a 5.16 ERA in 61 IP. Not a bad line and with what we saw from Boston’s gang of misfit toys, it’d be a massive improvement. I’m not saying that we’d see the lefty turn back the hands of time but having a steady and reliable arm in the arsenal is something that Alex Cora desperately needs right now.

With the team getting younger and younger seemingly every year, having someone on the staff that’s seen and done it all would bring a balance to the force. The three-time world champion has not only won battles on the field but off of it as well. There isn’t a situation, at least on the ballfield, that should rattle Lester’s cage. Bringing him in for a short-term deal to not only usher out the old-guard but also mentor the new class of pitchers could be the perfect end to his story.

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I could see Chaim Bloom and the Sox staying away from Lester for two very simple reasons, his age and salary. He had a $25M option for the upcoming season, most likely the biggest reason the Cubs decided to not retain his services. With Chaim being a master at getting players for a bargain, he may not be able to sway Lester into returning to Boston for a wage Boston would be happy with. Considering his age and remaining years left on the mound, the two sides could come to an agreement on something that is a win-win.

All in all, my point here is that I think it’s mind-boggling that the Red Sox have yet to at least show some interest in Lester. Could something happen down the road, absolutely, but to not even be heading that way at this point is a head-scratcher. Especially considering the fact that the team has approached several other veteran pitchers, it just seems odd to not even have his picture on the bulletin board.

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I think my tone and words have made it pretty clear that I’d be all for the Red Sox bringing back Jon Lester to write the perfect conclusion to his baseball story. It may take some home cooking to get the deal done but if there were ever a chance to right the wrong of his departure, it’s now. Adding his veteran presence and championship pedigree to this team could do wonders for course-correcting their current path. They may not be showing any interest right now, but it would be in Boston’s best interests to give Lester a call.