Boston Red Sox: Losing Jon Lester will have a ripple effect


Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

First I want to say that I am an ardent supporter of Re-signing Jon Lester. Previously I had written that I didn’t want to overpay for his return and that the Red Sox should be fiscally responsible when offering a contract to him.

After much thought, and the fact that Lester has carried over his superior play from last years Playoffs; I have changed my reason of thinking. At this given point I would offer Lester the Moon to extend his stay in Boston.

The reason for my reversal, if you will, is not solely based on the last calendar year but instead based on what the rest of the rotation has been unable to accomplish.

Pitchers like John Lackey and Clay Buchholz are not and can not be the “staff leader” and or “Ace”. Lackey has come back to Earth this year and Buchholz has once again proven he can’t stay healthy for an entire season. Never mind the fact neither pitcher has been able to consistently put up #1 Starting Pitcher numbers. In the mean time Lester has put up the best numbers of his career.

Rumors continue to swirl that the Red Sox are interested in Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels. As I have previously written, he isn’t an adequate replacement for Lester. Hamels stats in the American League pale in comparison to Lester’s. We also know nothing of his Leadership abilities given he’s had veteran lefty Cliff Lee ahead of him in their rotation.

In my opinion there are extremely few who could actually take over where Lester has left off and even fewer that project to be able to handle Boston and the AL East. It’s also unlikely that player would be cheaper contract wise. And if you have to trade for that Starter then you’re giving up prospects to acquire him. Wouldn’t it  be cheaper (in the long run) to just re-sign Lester?

Though it is true that the Sox have a plethora of pitching prospects, some ready for promotion (see Anthony Ranaudo), they do not posses a Starting Pitcher that is ready to slide right into Lester’s soon to be vacant spot.

If the Red Sox choose to move on without Lester, then in my opinion they care more about building that “Home grown” team then they do about winning today. This type of building takes time and comes with many an up and down (see Miami Marlins, Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs…).

Given that Boston is a large market team there is no excuse for choosing the same route the smaller market teams do, while charging the highest ticket prices in Baseball.

Though we will always love and support our Sox, it isn’t acceptable for this management group to cheat you out of “Star” players. Lower the ticket prices to what the Cubs charge then it would be a different story, until then they must do everything in their power to re-sign Jon Lester, regardless of cost, because the alternative would have a negative ripple effect going forward. #PayLester