The Boston Red Sox have decided to put off contract negotiations with ace pitcher Jon Lester until after the season, according to an email sent by principal owner John Henry to the Boston Herald. While Lester has been vocal about his desire to remain in Boston, he has also made it clear that he does not want his contract status to become a distraction for him or his teammates during the season.
“I’m not going to discuss Jon’s situation out of respect for both Jon and (general manager) Ben (Cherington) other than to say that both sides have put further discussion off until after the season,” Henry wrote. “It’s clear that both Jon and our organization would like to see Jon back next year if possible."
The Red Sox will still have a window to negotiate with Lester after the season prior to the start of when free agency begins, when other teams will be able to come at him with offers. It's possible that once Lester gets that close to free agency he may be more willing to test the market, but so far he's been adamant about his preference to remain in Boston. The comfort level for him and his family may trump money in the end, which should keep Lester in Boston a long as the Red Sox can come up with a fair offer – something they failed to do before the season when their initial 4-year, $70 million deal was immediately shot down. We can expect the Red Sox to get another chance to negotiate with their ace before he starts listening to other teams – he just doesn't want to talk about it right now.
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