Name: Jon Lester
Position: Starting Pitcher
Size: 6' 4" 240 lbs
Acquired: Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2002 amateur draft
Contract: $5,750,000 (2012-7.625 mil, 2013-11.625 mil, 2014-13 mil (team option))
Comments: If there were any doubts, Lester cemented himself as the ace of the Red Sox staff in 2010. Prior to a last game meltdown on Sep. 30th, his name was being thrown about as a possible Cy Young candidate. Lester just missed out on winning 20 games and posted a 3.25 ERA for the year. What makes his season even more impressive is the fact that he came out of the gate pretty awful (1-2 with a 4.71 ERA in 5 April starts). He matched his 2009 total in K's with 225 (leading the AL in K/9) and posted his best WHIP so far in his young career with a 1.202 mark. Lester enters his age 27 season as one of the best left-handers in the game and could be in for a very special year.
Unique Stat: If there is a stat that endears you to your fanbase, it's beating your rival. Lester has done just that over his career. In 12 starts vs. the Yankees, Lester is 6-1 with a 3.28 ERA, 9.7 K/9 while holding batters to a 0.683 OPS against. Lester also boasts a 2.57 ERA in 42 post-season innings.
Analysis: Lester should again lead a very good Sox rotation. He is arguably one of the top 5 pitchers in the AL and should be up for the Cy Young at the end of the year. It is highly possible that he could break the 20-win plateau this season to go along with his usual 220+ K's.
Tomorrow: Jed Lowrie