Right now, the Boston Red Sox appear to be in holding pattern until free agent southpaw Jon Lester makes his final decision. While Boston’s reported offer of 6 years, $130M is a strong submission, the Chicago Cubs are currently the highest bidders while the San Fransisco Giants are also in contention. Boston and Chicago’s offers are reportedly separated by just $8M dollars, which seems like a lot to us common folk, but there isn’t a whole lot that you can do with $138M, that you can’t do with $130M. Lester himself even said that he’s not looking to go to the highest bidder, and that family comfort will play an large role in where he signs. Lester’s familiarity with the Red Sox organization, the fans and media, and the city itself makes Boston a strong candidate to bring back the starter. On top of offering a familiar environment and personnel, Boston offers an opportunity to compete right away; which is something only the Giants can also say. In signing with the Cubs, Lester would be investing Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer’s vision of a prospect driven roster, which is still two or three years away from coming together.
- This offseason isn’t the first time that the Red Sox will be tasked with challenge of reassembling their starting rotation. After Boston won the World Series in 2004, the team had to cope with the loss of important arms like Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe, while also dealing with the uncertain future of Curt Schilling. Back then, the Red Sox patched up the starting staff with rotation fillers like Matt Clement, David Wells, and Wade Miller. While the circumstances are a little different this time around, the shoddy results that Boston received back then should serve as a reminder of just how tough it is to regroup the starting rotation. (Past as prelude? Pedro Martinez, Jon Lester and a potentially rocky Red Sox rotation remake)
- Should the Red Sox lose out on Jon Lester, Oakland Athletics’ left-hander Jeff Samardzija appears to be one of Boston’s top trade targets. In recent trade speculation, Boston’s short stop prospect Deven Marrero seems like a player that would intrigue Oakland, given that the A’s traded Addison Russell this past summer. But Marrero alone won’t be enough to reel in a pitcher of Samardzija’s caliber. Boston will need to delve deeper into their hoard of prospects in order to come up with a more enticing package. (Is Deven Marrero the key to a Jeff Samardzija trade?)
- No surprises came from the Red Sox camp as the non-waiver deadline came and went on Tuesday. Boston issued new deals to outfielder/first baseman Daniel Nava, and relief pitcher Junichi Tazawa. The only player Boston neglected to offer a contract to was infielder Juan Francisco. Acquired by Boston in mid-November, Francisco’s was designated for assignment by Boston after the team signed Hanley Ramirez. Now a free agent, the 27-year old’s power bat will most likely land him a bench or platoon job with a major league club. (Red Sox non-tender Juan Francisco, offer contracts to Daniel Nava, Junichi Tazawa)
- Right now Jon Lester is one of the best starters in the game, and can be had for just money. While Boston already has a final offer of 6 years, $130M on the table, the team could justifiably offer the lefty $150M. The Red Sox have the money and payroll flexibility to allocate $25M a year to Lester and not have to feel bad about it. While the later years of a 6 year, $150M pact might not see the same production as the first few, the opportunity to sign an elite player for immediate success is a luxury Boston can take advantage of. (Is Jon Lester worth $150 million to the Red Sox?)
- Tweet of the day: This tweet wins the offseason in a landslide victory
Sources (I found on twitter dot com) are reporting (player) will sign with (team) for (money). Follow me I'm a wi(e)n(n)er!
— Matthew Kory (@mattymatty2000) December 2, 2014