9:37pm: The Red Sox do want to reignite extension talks with Lester, but there has been no progress toward an extension, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford writes.
9:02pm: The Red Sox are making what could be a final attempt to extend starting pitcher Jon Lester before he reaches free agency this winter, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports. Olney says the Red Sox have improved upon their previous offer to Lester. It’s unclear, however, whether Lester is even receptive to extension talks at this point, preferring to concentrate on pitching during the season. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal noted yesterday that Lester and the Red Sox were very far apart on the terms of a potential deal.
Olney writes that Lester and the Red Sox had not negotiated since the spring, when the Red Sox reportedly made a four-year, $70MM offer. (Since then, even the Red Sox have characterized the $70MM figure as something less than a final offer.) Lester has pitched brilliantly so far this season, posting a 2.92 ERA with 9.1 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 114 innings, and with the recent escalation in salaries for starting pitchers like Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez and Homer Bailey, one would think that Lester would have little trouble topping $70MM on the open market.