As the Jon Lester sweepstakes heads down the home stretch, the Red Sox find themselves right in the thick of conversations involving the left-hander. Boston, along with the Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, and Seattle Mariners, are teams vying for the services of the veteran starter. On Monday CBSSports.com’s John Heyman reported that the Cubs currently have a 6 year, $138M offer on the table for Lester, which makes them the highest bidders so far. The Red Sox, according to Heyman, won’t match Chicago’s offer, but are willing to go as high as $130M over 6 years. With just an $8M difference between the Cubs and Red Sox offers, the bidding could keep rising for the 30-year old southpaw. Heyman suggests that Lester could wind up getting a deal worth $150M, which would make his annual average revenue $25M. While both teams could theoretically swing an $150M offer, the Red Sox don’t seem like they would be comfortable going that high on Lester. After all, Boston is trepidatious about offering him $130M. With contract offers on the table and perhaps some higher bids to come, Lester is still aiming to sign by the end of the week. As the Red Sox wait for Lester’s final decision, they can feel confident about their bid, and hope that their offer and the familiarity of Boston is enough to bring the lefty back home.
- Should the Red Sox lose out on Jon Lester, the team will have to mull over a plethora of backup options, both in free agency and on the trade front. However, if Boston elects to purse starting pitching options on the free agent market, the team will have to consider the draft pick implications. After the signings of both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, Boston would surrender their third round draft pick if they were to sign a pitcher that decline a qualifying offer. Ervin Santana, Francisco Liriano, and James Shields, all come with draft pick stipulations. (What it would mean for Red Sox’ draft if they went after James Shields, Max Scherzer, Ervin Santana, or Francisco Liriano)
- While Pablo Sandoval wasn’t the most cost-effective free agent signing, he was an extremely opportunistic signing. Looking back, Boston could have waited to see how the third base market would shake out this offseason, but instead they took advantage of the opportunity to ink one of the best available free agents in the stages of the offseason. (Why Sandoval over Headley? Bird in the hand)
- Of all the trade options that the Red Sox can explore this offseason, perhaps one of the least discussed arm is New York Mets lefty Jon Niese. Over the weekend, it was reported that the Mets would like to unload one of there starters, with Niese peaking Boston’s interest more than Bartolo Colon and Dillon Gee. Niese is not a front line starter by any means, but he is a solid rotation filler and wouldn’t cost all that much. (Red Sox trade target: Jon Niese)
- With Jon Lester’s future uncertain, the Red Sox must take stock of their trade chips in case a reunion can’t be reached. Boston has a ton of moveable pieces of varying value currently littered across the roster. However, the team must use their chips effectively and get the maximum return for the player(s) they’re moving. (Which players should Red Sox trade?)
- Tweet of the day: Couldn’t agree more
Red Sox need to bring back Willy Mo solely for brawling purposes and BP theatrics
— Sox Lunch (@Soxlunch) December 1, 2014