Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Red Sox Hot Stove (11/12) - Jon Lester

By the way, let me just say this about Jon Lester. Jim Bowden, at ESPN, thinks he's going to sign for 6 years at $138 million. If I were in charge of the Red Sox I would do that in a heartbeat. I understand the reluctance to go long on older players. I not only understand it, I agree with it wholeheartedly. That said, there are two things that would influence me in making this decision. (You know, beyond the mere fact that they seriously need a top-of-the-rotation starter.)
  1. I believe that Lester will age well. Looking at his body type, looking at the time that he missed while younger due to cancer, I am reminded of Roger Clemens. I never thought that Pedro would last as long as he did, but Lester looks to me like the Clemens, Schilling, Colon body type, thick through the midsection and upper legs, that tends to distribute the stress over more of the body rather than concentrating it in the shoulder and elbow. I think Lester's still pitching effectively in 2020 and would have no problem signing him through that season.

  2. I think it's overrated that some people cannot play or pitch successfully in Boston. Vastly overrated. That said, there's always a concern when you bring a free agent in about how he'll fit into the organization. Will there be friction in the locker room? Will he be unhappy in the living and working environment? Will he sign here and wish he hadn't? (Looking at you, Carl Crawford, and you, Adrian Gonzalez...) There's no such concern with Lester.
That said, I suspect that Bowden's wrong, and it's going to cost more. More dollars per year, and maybe more years, too. (I think that 6 years is more likely than $23 million per - I think he's more likely to get 6/$150 or even 7/$160 than 6/$138.) Whatever he gets, I hope it's from the Red Sox, because I'd really like to have him back. I primarily want good players on my teams, but if the good players are good people (at least, as nearly as we can tell) and easy to root for, that's even better. I'll be a happier Red Sox fan in 2015 if Jon Lester is pitching for Boston than if he's not.

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