6:pm: Also featured: information on Sandoval, Giants, Red Sox
According to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo the Red Sox have reportedly offered Lester six-years and $110-$120 million.
Which would be considered a “discount” since some think that he could make up to $150 as previously noted.
The Red Sox have also made an offer to third baseman Pablo Sandoval who they’ve had their eyes on since the first day he was a free agent.
They seem to have done a good job wooing the 28-year-old but the San Francisco Giants also want Sandoval back meaning that they could bid high.
Still, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford are now arbitration eligible and will be making more money and at somepoint they may be looking to lock those two down. I don’t see Sandoval fitting into that picture financially for the Giants.
However, I’m not their financial planner so I could way off. It’s just the feeling I get. Still the Blue Jays are said to be putting in an offer to Sandoval within the next 24 hours so you never know.
I bet that both Lester and Sandoval sign with the Red Sox, that is unless the Atlanta Braves sweep Lester off his feet.
They very well might! It also doesn’t hurt that Lester’s family lives in the Atlanta area. A lot of players don’t get the opportunity to be near their families like that and Lester is a family-first kind of guy.
I guess will know more tomorrow. Word is that Lester is already in Atlanta. Will the Braves swoop in and break the Red Sox hearts? lol.
Updated: November 19, 2014
The Hot Stove season continues to be a combination of surprising and stressful. That’s the fun of it though, I can’t imagine being someone like Jon Lester who is being courted seriously by quite a few teams.
Just yesterday the talk of Lester meeting with both the Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves this week.
There were also rumors of the Toronto Blue Jays wanting to thwart the Cubs again by jumping on the Lester train. Just Tuesday they out bid the Cubs, signing catcher Russell Wilson to a five-year deal.
Max Scherzer. Ben Margot/AP.
With the Cubs extremely serious about getting a veteran ace for their staff, they might give up on signing Lester and turn to Max Scherzer or James Shields with this latest Lester news break. Peter Gammons reported Tuesday that the Cubs’ executives believed that Lester was planning to sign with the Boston Red Sox.
It appears now that they may have been on the right track. While Lester hasn’t signed with anyone and is still scheduled to meet with Atlanta Thursday this is all still a lot of talk, albeit interesting talk.
Lester, who met with his former team earlier in the week, apparently has an offer on the table from the Red Sox.
A source told ESPN about the offer and “that he did not expect Lester to make a quick decision.” He did not disclose the terms of the offer. Lester already rejected a four-year $70 million offer from the Red Sox last March and is now coming off a career year at 31 years old.
He’s poised to get a much larger offer, both in years as well as financially. He’ll likely want a six or seven-year deal which could easily take his salary up to the $150 million range.
So now questions abound. What could the Red Sox offer be if Lester did not reject it? He’s said in the past that he would be willing to return to the team that traded him at the July 31st deadline this summer and that he’d do it at a discount.
If he still feels that way, how much of a discount would he accept? Would it be in years or in dollars? Then again just because he did not reject the Red Sox offer does not mean he won’t sign elsewhere. Lester also has ties to the Atlanta area as his family home is not far from the Braves new stadium.
Jon Lester. Getty Images.
Beyond that there are whispers that the New York Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals might get in on the Lester sweepstakes. While these cities might not feel like home to Lester, they might be more desirable in the end.
Both New York and St. Louis have the resources to sign Lester to a monster deal that could sway him. Still, it IS telling that the door is still open with the Red Sox after they’ve already set an offer down in front of him.
I guess we’ll have to stay on the edge of our seats on this one. Stressful and fun, the Hot Stove season truly is for baseball fans and I assume even moreso the players.
Honestly, I thought more teams would be fighting over Scherzer before they did Lester. That’s where the fun part plays in … anything can happen, especially the unexpected.
Original Text: November 18, 2014
The rumors swirling around free agent pitcher Jon Lester are quite varied and cover a wide range of teams from the Blue Jays, who are fresh off of signing catcher Russell Martin to a 5-year deal, to the Chicago Cubs who, according to Peter Gammons, believe that Lester will sign with the Boston Red Sox.
The Cubs think he’s going back to Boston,” Gammons said. “He and his reps are going to wait and see if the Yanks jump in & they might.”
So, you can add the possibility of the New York Yankees jumping into the fray at the last minute to the list. On top of that Lester is meeting with the Atlanta Braves Thursday and it has been pointed out that Lester and his family have a house in Atlanta and enjoy the area.
That’s also been said about Boston where Lester has lived and thrived for the past eight seasons. It has been noted that the Braves may not be able to afford Lester who will likely command at least $20 million a year.
Still the Braves did free up some money in trading Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden to the Cardinals for Shelby Miller on Monday.
Lester has said previously that he would return to Boston for a discount. Would he go to Atlanta for a real home town discount?
Either option could be tempting for the 30-year-old left hander. It wouldn’t be easy to say no to the Braves with his wife and sons living just a short drive away from the Braves new stadium.
Yet, there’s Lester’s loyalty to the Red Sox, even though they traded him to Oakland mid-2014. He’s spent almost all of his career in Boston with the Red Sox and loves the city.
Given all that, does anyone REALLY know where Jon Lester is going to sign? Probably not.
Jon Lester. Getty Images.
If anyone does it is only Lester himself and he’s stayed mum. He’s also been pretty busy setting up meeting with a number of teams.
It appears likely that he may not even have an idea yet and is still weighing his many options.
Personally I think, much like the Cubs do, that Lester will end up back in Boston.
However, as we learned Monday when the Blue Jays swooped in and stole Russell Martin from the believed front runner Cubs signing Martin to a 5-year deal, nothing in baseball is ever predictable.
Check back later for a slideshow describing Lester’s chances of signing with all of the aforementioned teams!