Despite reports suggesting that the two sides will wait until after the season to continue negotiations, ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes has learned that the Red Sox are having additional conversations that may lead to a new offer to starting pitcher Jon Lester.
The club offered Lester a four-year, $70 million deal before the season began, but Lester rejected the offer. Lester's camp did not counter at the time.
Edes speculates that a higher annual fee could help bridge the gap between the two parties. From the report:
Boston's initial offer was far below market value in both dollars and years, although the presumed sticking point is expected, in the end, to be the length of the deal. One way the Red Sox could strike a middle ground is to offer Lester an attention-grabbing amount closer to, say, $30 million a year than to $17 million, for three years, perhaps with an option for a fourth year.
The 30-year-old Lester has posted a 2.73 ERA and 1.148 WHIP this season over 122.0 IP, both of which are career bests.
- Aaron Somers