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We've been over the possibility of a Lester trade over the past few weeks given his mediocre performances and Peter Gammons' comments that he has been deeply unhappy in Boston for a couple of years now. Given the conclusions we've reached, this seems like pretty good news, since trading Lester now would be the definition of selling low.
Edes interprets this decision to stick with Lester as "further reinforcing the team's decision to push for a playoff spot in 2012," which for some Red Sox fans will be a bit...concerning. But if you ask me that's something of a reach.
Even if the Red Sox decided to declare their season over tomorrow, it would still be a questionable move to deal Lester, who has two years (including a club option) left on his current contract. If the Sox feel that they can get even a diminished version of the old Lester back on the mound, offering up a 3.80-4.00 ERA, it makes sense to hold onto him. With the possibility remaining that he could recover fully and start putting up numbers well under that, he's not really in contract dump territory yet.
In the unlikely event that Jon Lester has really entered his final decline at 28-years-old, then the Sox are missing a chance to dump his contract. But in all likelihood he hasn't, and the Sox are just avoiding a hasty, reactionary mistake.