News came out on Friday that conflicted what we all thought was true. Jon Lester had previously stated that he would take a “Home-town discount” to stay in the only City he’s ever known; Boston. We found out on Friday that statement isn’t true. According to recent reports Lester and or his agent expect to receive top money, possibly top 5 Starting Pitcher monies. Here lies the rub.
Jon Lester just doesn’t give the Red Sox top 10 pitching stat’s, not even top 20 in most categories. If you want a pitcher that gives you innings then yes he deserves “top 15” money. The problem is Lester’s stats tell us a completely different story, at least during the Regular season.
In 2013 Lester finished 52nd in ERA with a 3.75 mark.
12th in Innings Pitched with 213.1
13th worst in Hits with 209 surrendered.
21st in Runs, with 94 given. 15th in Earned Runs, with 89 given.
55th in Home Runs allowed with 19.
24th in Walks with 67 passes vs 31st in Strike Outs with 177.
47th in opponents Batting Average with .253
54th in WHIP with a 1.29 mark.
These just aren’t numbers put up by a pitcher that deserves top money. I had mentioned in a previous article that if Lester wanted anymore than $17.5M per year I’d trade him. I have decided to adjust that amount given some of the recent contracts handed out. If you take into account the contracts given to: Kershaw, Verlander, Hernandez, Greinke, Sabathia, Lee, Hamels, Tanaka, Cain and Wainwright, all pitchers of higher ilk than Lester, something under their deals but higher then the “lessor” pitchers seemed more than fair.
I came up with a max contract of $19.5M per year. Given the fact Jon has never had a serious injury I would rip up his final season (’14) and offer a 6 year/ $117M deal, take it or leave it. If Lester won’t sign for that then the Sox have a choice to make, either trade him or take the draft pick when he’s signed by another team. As much as I’d hate to see him in a Yankees uniform (or any other), the Red Sox can’t afford to overpay Lester as it would dramatically impact the future. If the Sox gave in to the higher demands, then weren’t able to sign a Starter like Max Scherzer, I believe we’d all be upset. Go Sox!