Before pitchers and catchers even reported last year, I was deep into my push for the Red sox to sign Jon Lester to an extension. My number was five years at $125 million dollars. Everyone laughed – yes everyone. Including Larry Lucchino. Luchinno thought my idea so ridiculous that he offered Lester an insulting four years and $70 million. Of course Lester and his people turned down Luchinno and his offensive deal. Talks were shelved. After all, would you invite a person back to dinner you overheard saying your wife’s cooking was low-grade dog food?
Fast forward to the trade deadline. Lester gets called into the managers office and is told he’s being shipped off to Oakland – yes Jon, we love you and everything you’ve done for this ball club including the two world series trophies, but you’re thirty now and well buh-bye. On the way out of Fenway Lester, like he had since the opening of camp, said all the right things, and with what could be considered for Jon Lester a smile on his face hugged John Henry got into his truck and in the way of Horatio Alger or The Donner Party went west young man. By the time Lester took the stage at his press conference you could tell this man was hurt. He stood there in his A’s uniform looking like an eleven year old who was made to wear the ugly itchy sweater aunt Helen had knitted for him last Christmas. Still, his time in Oakland was stellar – Lester went 6-4 in 11 starts with an ERA under 2.50. He was pitching a team whose hitting down the stretch was worse that the one he left into the playoffs. He was pitching for a shot at his third world series ring. He was pitching for his first taste of free agency. He was pitching with an injured ego. The World Series didn’t happen the taste is here and the ego will shortly be healed.
Now, eight months removed from the initial insult, Lester is making the rounds. The Cardinals, Cubs, Braves and others are courting Lester’s talents. The now pitching poor Sox are reportedly making “serious offers”, yet the numbers leaked are as insulting as Lucchino and Henry’s initial. Six years between $110-$120 million. Seems Luchinno thinks that the home discount Lester said he would take last spring is still in effect. Even though dad kicked his number one son out of the house for being too old to live at home anymore. This offer can’t be serious – it can’t be more than wishful thinking at best. At it’s worst. It’s merely a show to ease the mind of the masses so John Henry and Luchinno can say, well we tried didn’t we? If the issue with extending Lester was always the years and not the cash why go Six now at such a still low ball number ? I’m not sure who should be more insulted at this point – Lester or us…
Follow /give me Grief on Twitter @Tmurph207