Red Sox Offered Lester Deal Worth $70MM

3:56pm: Lester says that he isn’t ruling out the possibility that he will remain with the Red Sox, Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston tweets. “Why does it mean I’m out of Boston?” Lester says. “Things can definitely change.”

11:59am: The Red Sox’ most recent extension offer to starting pitcher Jon Lester was for four years and $70MM, Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan tweets, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports initially reported that the Red Sox had offered between $70MM and $80MM.

Lester is eligible for free agency after the season, and Rosenthal writes that sources tell him that Lester will not negotiate an extension again until the season is over. (The two sides ceased extension talks in late March, but it appeared then that they could continue talking during the season.)

Even an offer of $80MM would appear to be significantly below market for Lester — Homer Bailey received six years and $105MM for the Reds, and Lester, who has a longer track record of success, would figure to make more on the open market. Rosenthal points out that the Red Sox’ offer was below the $82.5MM John Lackey received from the team in 2009. The Red Sox have a “willingness to go higher” than their recent offer, Rosenthal writes, and they’ll likely need to in order to sign Lester.


63 Responses to Red Sox Offered Lester Deal Worth $70MM Leave a Reply

  1. Devern Hansack 1 year ago

    I love Jon Lester and all he has done for the organization, but his K/9 and GB% are trending downward over the last four seasons. Personally, $15 MM per year for five years with a vesting option would be the highest that I’d go. I agree with the Sox here.

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      That is not nearly high enough. Contracts are going up, I don’t view Lester as a “#1″ but he is a good #2 caliber pitcher. Backend starters are getting $8-10MM on the market.

      • Devern Hansack 1 year ago

        I absolutely agree that he wouldn’t go for it. With the way his stats are trending, though, he’s going to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter in a season or two. The Sox are also flush with starter depth with Ranaudo, Workman, De La Rosa, Webster, Owens, and Barnes in the upper tiers of the farm system. I’d be alright with them letting Lester walk and either bringing Peavy back on a qualifying offer or getting a stop gap.

    • jdouble777 1 year ago

      You are out of your mind and when he lands elsewhere you will regret these words. The offered him LESS THAN LACKEY!

  2. Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

    What? Cherington are you crazy? That kind of offer is almost insulting to Lester!

    • godzillacub 1 year ago

      Maybe they’re getting a bit cocky with how many player discounts they’ve gotten? I mean . . . after Pedroia, why not ask?

      • Dodgerblue 1 year ago

        Pedroia discount LOL cant even hit 10 home runs a season anymore and 100 MILLION for a 30 year old is a discount LOL

        • NomarGarciaparra 1 year ago

          Do you even baseball?

        • LazerTown 1 year ago

          Paying $13.75MM aav is a bargain for a solid 4 WAR player.

        • ellisburks 1 year ago

          What we have here is a troll. Either that or a person who has no idea about statistics.

  3. nightmarerec0n 1 year ago

    The Red Sox essentially used the C.J. Wilson deal of 5Y/$77.5M as a base, which is a really good comparison. A very good, but not elite lefty pitcher that has clean health.

    But inflation has occurred. 5Y/$77.5 is more in to $95-$100M range now and Lester does have a longer track record. Even on a $/WAR basis this is a low ball. Assume Lester is worth 4 WAR this year, 3 WAR the next 2 years and 1.5 the two years after that. At $7M = 1 WAR, That is still worth $90M.

    • Hills of Glenallen 1 year ago

      You really think in 2 years inflation has accounted for THAT much of a difference?

      • nightmarerec0n 1 year ago

        To a certain extent. The difference is the years. Teams are paying a similar AAV, but giving more years.

        Compare Sabathia’s extension in 2011 with Verlander’s in 2013. Sabathia got 5Y/$122M. Verlander got 7Y/$180M. I’d say they are fairly comparable and a good example of inflation. The difference is Verlander got more years, therefore $58M more.

    • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

      Any extension won’t cover this year so your math at the end doesn’t work. According to you he would produce 9 war over 2015-2018 which at 7 million a WAR would be 63 million far below the 80 million they offered.

  4. start_wearing_purple 1 year ago

    Gotta say, ouch. Looks like they they’re really shooting for a serious hometown discount.

    • johnsilver 1 year ago

      Could be Cherrington is working his way up to at most a 4y 75-80m deal and 5th as a team option (strictly) that totals 95-100m. Can’t say am disapointed by it, though most of us are sure he will easilly get far more on the market, especially with Sanchez just getting 90m last year at 2y younger.

      Cherrington can look that 70m extension Beckett signed when he was 30YO with the Sox. 2 out of 3 of his previous seasons had been good, 3 out of 4 and then the wheels fell off after the extension.. It’s got to be giving Ben reason to pause going 5y outright at big money for a 31YO guy.

  5. CG 1 year ago

    Do what it takes to keep the players that have won you the World Series. He is talented and a winner.

    • Randy Jay Pena 1 year ago

      Agreed If I was Ben Charington I would do what ever it takes to sign my Ace.

    • Yes because that has worked out so well for the Phillies.

      • CG 1 year ago

        How is paying a guy in his prime the same as paying guys that are past their primes? The Phillies are paying guys from the World Series from Six Years ago. I am talking about paying a guy in his prime from LAST year’s World Series.

        • He’s in his prime for the next couple of years but you’ll end up having to pay him for a lot of really bad years. Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard weren’t in their mid 30’s when they got their big pay days but now they’re just a burden. Baseball owners need to realize paying big money is not a good investment when the guy is on the wrong side of 30. It always seems somewhat reasonable to pay a guy his first time to FA but it really isn’t a great gamble. All it takes is his velocity to slip a bit and he’s the next Sabathia or Zito.

  6. KingKen 1 year ago

    Saying Lester has a longer track record than Bailey is simply a nice way of saying Lester is 2 years older than Bailey. That age difference makes Bailey a better bet to offer 6 years vs. 4 years.

    • Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

      Meet in the middle. 5 years. Maybe through in a vesting option for a 6th year if he wont go for it.

      • KingKen 1 year ago

        That may be what they try to do. It will all come down to whether or not Lester wants to compromise and was honest about being willing to take a hometown discount. When it comes right down to it most players talk a good game about being willing to do that and then have a change of heart when they see what might be possible out on the open market from some other team.

  7. forkball27 1 year ago

    This could get interesting….. Scherzer will get a mega deal this off season but from who? Maybe Lester and Scherzer will be trading uniforms this offseason?

    • Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

      If Boston isn’t willing to go above 80 million on Lester I find it highly unlikely they will be able to sign Scherzer.

    • NomarGarciaparra 1 year ago

      Not gonna happen. Scherzer turned out $144M/6yr from Detroit…and Boston won’t even offer that.

  8. YankeeFan™ 1 year ago

    if thats the case i think lester leaves ill be shocked if he agrees to a contract under 100 million.

  9. Jared S 1 year ago

    I guess Lester is not giving THAT big a hometown discount. In any event, $17.5 million for 4 years is still nothing to sneeze at and he still may get another multi-year deal after if he accepted this one. He would be just 34-35.

    • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

      Lester never said he was going to give the Red Sox a “big” hometown discount. Only a discount. Apparently the Red Sox are trying to steal him and I doubt that will work.

  10. NomarGarciaparra 1 year ago

    I’ll take $100M/5y if Lester is willing.

    • burnboll 1 year ago

      Any plans of getting involved in baseball as a manager or in the front office?

      • NomarGarciaparra 1 year ago

        Right now, I’m enjoying time with my family, with Mia and my daughters. But certainly, if I’m presented with an opportunity in the future, I would love to return to baseball.

        (generic response)

  11. UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

    If the Red Sox don’t offer at least 5 years and $105 to $110MM guaranteed with a 6th year vesting option they can say goodbye to Lester. Even that is under market value for him and certainly a hometown discount for the Sox.

  12. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 1 year ago

    I really don’t see him pitching for anyone else.

  13. KB 1 year ago

    Why are the Boston Red Sox looking for bargains? They’r a big market team worth a billion dollars. This is John Henry keeping contracts down so he can max return whn he sells.

    • John Cate 1 year ago

      Of course. John Henry is acting like just he did when he was part-owner of the Marlins. How dare he carry a miniscule $156.3 million payroll this season? He’s the biggest miser since Scrooge.

  14. BoSoXaddict 1 year ago

    Definitely a lowball offer but not necessarily an unwise negotiating tactic. If Lester has a good season, I think something gets done shortly afterwards for 5 years/100-115

    • Randy Jay Pena 1 year ago

      I would take the risk and sign him for 5 years at 100 mil with an option, Lester is 2 time champ and is a great lefty and those are very hard to find and in today’s market you gotta do it.

      • BoSoXaddict 1 year ago

        The problem is that Lester might not accept that deal. Not when Hamels got 6/144. His agents’ idea of a home town discount would probably be more like 115.

        • Randy Jay Pena 1 year ago

          He probably will you never know, I’m just hoping they don’t let him walk away by not trying very hard. If I was Ben I would do anything to keep lester and at 20 mil a year should be a decent hometown discount. 4 years at 70 mil is just a big disgrace and sounds like they rather let him walk, in today’s market you gotta go beyond 20 mil I mean imagine how much will it be to keep Xander in Boston after his contract is over, The Sox need to keep up with those other big market teams because come on the Sox are a big market team and as of right now they are acting like a small market team with no money the way they’re being cheap with players.

          • BoSoXaddict 1 year ago

            At the very least, they should offer Lester a “shorter years/higher AAV” deal a la Victorino & Napoli and see if that might get it done..something like 4/95

  15. bobbleheadguru 1 year ago

    Interesting to compare Lester’s offer to Scherzer. How much better is Scherzer at the same age to turn down DOUBLE the guaranteed money v. Lester?

    The Tigers would jump on a $105MM contract. Split the difference and give Lester 50% more money than the Red Sox offered (but still well below what Scherzer was offered).

    Other teams would likely do the same. If Scherzer is worth 80% of Kershaw, then Lester should be worth 80% of Scherzer.

  16. Robert Drzewiczewski 1 year ago

    The Jon Lester Farewell Tour had its first New York stop this season. These are the Cheap Sox-exploit the hell out of your success, market everything, scuttle loyalty and let stars walk. Lester will be the Yankees new left-handed ace with the decline of CC.

  17. 0vercast 1 year ago

    Don’t they have the 4th highest payroll in baseball?

  18. jdouble777 1 year ago

    Was a really fun run, but BOS’s time is now over and the mojo that made that take place is no longer in place. Lester and Ortiz, almost by themselves, are what made that team pull off the unconscionable. Forget who I am, just look at the stats from the All-Star break on and in the playoffs alone. To win The Series you must have an absolute Ace and this was/is that guy. If I were him and that was the offer I would never enter negotiations again. If you can spend 180M you can fatten the pocket of one of the most important arms in Red Sox history.

    • Randy Jay Pena 1 year ago

      Exactly they spend so much money investing in Nascar and European Soccer that they don’t even care in making the Sox a better team.

  19. Randy Jay Pena 1 year ago

    Please fire Ben Cherington, this is a joke seriously Lester has been there throughout his career with the Sox and Cherington is only willing to give him a cheap deal? I mean he was able to give Ortiz over 15 a year and Ortiz is almost 40 but can’t give Lester who’s 30 a 20 mil a year deal? This is why I prefer Theo more Cherington at least Theo was aggressive when it comes to the players that he wanted. Ben had 1 lucky year as the GM he can’t expect to have another lucky year and repeat as champs. The Red Sox needs to realized that offseason where they blew their payroll on A. Gonzales and Crawford is a thing in the past and be aggressive in the offseason like they use to be. Now if it’s the owners that don’t want to spend the money on great players then John Henry and Co. needs to sale the team to someone that actually wants to spend money on players and want to win. I mean the guy has the money to buy the Boston Globe and a soccer team but doesn’t have the money to be aggressive during the offseason? Smh…

    • burnboll 1 year ago

      You don’t pay for past production. You pay for expected, future, production.

      Do you expect Lester to produce 4 WAR per season the next 4-5 years? Then sure, give him 100+ million.

      I think it’s reasonable to expect him to be a 2-3 WAR/year player the next 5 years. That’s 75 mil. And some discount for taking on so many years.

      Conclusion: the 70 mil offer is more than fair.

      • Randy Jay Pena 1 year ago

        How is 70 mil fair? That’s insulting, the guy has been their Ace since Beckett left and the guy got you to the World Series twice. Lester should get at least 20 mil a year, Baseball doesn’t have a salary cap and the Red Sox are not a small market team to be that cheap with Lester.

        • Scott Thorn 1 year ago

          Do you even know what WAR is?

        • burnboll 1 year ago

          What part of “you don’t pay for past production” don’t you understand?

          Sure, Lester have been a 20+ million pitcher these last years. Will he be that in a couple of years? I doibt it.

  20. Randy Jay Pena 1 year ago

    Yeah John Henry is not a good owner he’s too busy investing in European soccer teams and less investing in great players for the Sox. He should just sale the Red Sox to someone highly of making the Sox be a great and big market team.

    • burnboll 1 year ago

      Tell me someone who is a good owner. Because if John Henry is not, I wonder who is.

      Btw, I’m no dan of Red Sox. But I give credit where it’s due.

    • REDSOXRULE13 1 year ago

      Yeah, John Henry is a terrible owner. 3 championships in 10 years is soooo terrible….you’re kidding, right?

      • Randy Jay Pena 1 year ago

        I was referring to how he’s cheap with his players not how many championships he won which is great by the way but come on Lester is a great lefty and those are hard to find, 5 years at 100 million can’t be that bad in today’s market. You telling me that Lester is worth 4 years 70 mil? Give me a break that’s a big slap to his face. I’m a huge Red Sox fan been one since the mid 90s but it’s crazy how they don’t like to pay big bucks for great players especially the ones that helped win those Championships. If you guys look at players based on WAR (Wins Above Replacement) Then that’s on you but I prefer players based on what they do and where they got me, yeah lester had up and down seasons but he also helped get the Red Sox to 2 World Series championships and if that’s not enough for him to get a great deal with the Sox then I don’t know what is.

        • REDSOXRULE13 1 year ago

          I’m sure they will offer more money at some point. It’s called negotiating…no reason for the initial offer to be the best one. I think they eventually agree on something like 5yr/100M

  21. Randy Jay Pena 1 year ago

    I blame the GM and the owner. John Henry is one of the worst baseball Owners in the Majors next to Loria. Henry is too bust investing in Soccer teams and not investing in the Sox.

    • burnboll 1 year ago

      …yet they have own three World Series over the course of last 11 years.

      How many World Series should they have own for you to not rank John Henry as the worst in the business?

      • Randy Jay Pena 1 year ago

        I’m not talking how many World Series they have won I’m talking about how cheap they get during the offseason, Ever since the Sox had that bad experience with A.Gonzales and Crawford they just been off lately. With Gonzales at lease he produced but losing Ellsbury because he demanded more money was a mistake and if they lose Lester due to lack of not giving him the right deal then that would be a mistake also. If players like Ellsbury, Lester, etc got you a couple of Championships you do what ever you can to keep those players in the team. Baseball doesn’t have a salary cap the Sox are a big Market team.

        • burnboll 1 year ago

          I seem to recall the Boston Red Sox being the defending world champs. So in all honesty, what are you complaining about?

        • NomarGarciaparra 1 year ago

          “Ever since the Sox had that bad experience with A.Gonzales and Crawford they just been off lately. With Gonzales at lease he produced but losing Ellsbury because he demanded more money was a mistake and if they lose Lester due to lack of not giving him the right deal then that would be a mistake also.”

          It sounds like the Red Sox are learning from their mistakes.

          Red Sox: “Strategy A didn’t work out very well, let’s try strategy B.”

          You: “Strategy A didn’t work out very well, let’s continue using strategy A!”

  22. psabella 1 year ago

    Overreaction much…. They made an initial offer last winter. Should the first offer be 8 years 300 million? People calling for Cheringtons head, Farewell tour, Cheap Sox? Really. BTW I do agree the first offer was low but it seems Lester is able to take it in stride.

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