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.