The Red Sox and staff ace Jon Lester have decided to table their discussions on an extension, reports Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe (via Twitter). Talks were terminated "amicably," says Abraham, and the sides could pick up discussions during the upcoming season.
At times, it had seemed quite likely that a new deal would be reached to keep Lester in Boston for the foreseeable future. But with Opening Day fast approaching, the sides were apparently not close enough to keep the dialogue going into the start of the season. Lester is set to hit the open market after the coming season.
WEEI.com's Alex Speier provides some statements from GM Ben Cherington (links to Twitter), who says that the team still hopes to lock up Lester for the future. Both sides have a "shared desire to continue to talk," said Cherington, who would not rule out inter-season discussions but also said they may not pick up until the 2014 campaign is over.