When Jon Lester told the Herald that he was still open to coming back to Boston and that he wouldn't take the highest bid over happiness, I felt a tingle of optimism.
Then Lester asked out loud that if one team offers you $170 million but you get a $150 million offer to go to a place that makes you happy, is $20 million worth the unhappiness?
No, but if the offer is 4 years for $70 million, that could turn one’s happy place to Misery Island in a hurry.
Lester did go on to use the example of $100 million versus $80 million after he mentioned the big bucks above. But, as we know, $100 million is not going to do it. Nor should it.
I believe Lester wants to come back to Boston, but at a competitive rate and not an embarrassing one. If the Yankees offer him the above mentioned $170 million, he would come back to Boston for $150 million. I truly believe that. But he's not walking away from $170 million for $100 million. Nor should he.
Since his trade to Oakland, Lester has pitched great: 3-0, 2.49 ERA over 21 2/3 innings pitched. His complete game, three-hit shutout against the Twins was sandwiched around two wins over Kansas City . . . who have won 11 of their last 13. Yes, that means the only games they've lost in the last two weeks have been to Jon Lester. Royals manager Ned Yost said he would rather face Yoenis Cespedes -- the man the Red Sox got in exchange for Lester and Jonny Gomes -- four times a game than Lester for nine innings.
The better Lester pitches, the more the Red Sox anger me. Allegedly, John Henry wants Tom Werner to be the next baseball commissioner to keep the Sox' luxury tax liabilities down. Great. The owner of a major market cash cow wants to keep more money in his vault without spending it on Lester, who has pitched himself to ace level.
So, in conclusion:
Lester is still open to return to Boston, but for the right price. Boston is still interested in bringing Lester back, but for the right price.
The problem, Lester's right price probably isn't going to be the Red Sox' right price.
We will regret the day Lester signs with another team.
-- Jon Lester, CSNNE.com
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- Jon Lester