Larry Luchhino said today on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show that he expects the Red Sox to resume extension talks with Jon Lester during the regular season.
It's been a while since Lester's extension has taken center stage. Red Sox fans remain anxious to see their top starting pitcher locked up long-term, with the struggles of Clay Buchholz (et al.) on the mound only serving to make it that much more obvious how important Lester's presence at the top of the rotation is to this team. But in the two months now since the Red Sox and Lester put the talks on hold, the only news we've heard is that the Red Sox came in with a seemingly low four-year, $70 - $80 million initial offer.
The Red Sox received a lot of flak for apparently lowballing Lester, with some believing that their frugal approach at the bargaining table may well have cost them some good will. On that subject, Larry Luchhino has only this to say:
"I think it's a mistake to discuss the status of ongoing negotiations as it is a mistake to get fixated on an opening offer."
While it's easy to construct a narrative where Jon Lester and his representation stormed away from the bargaining table, it's just as easy to construct one where both sides decided to give the situation time to play out some in the regular season. Given Lester's performance so far and the aforementioned rotation issues the Red Sox hae faced, the delay hasn't exactly given them any extra leverage--quite the contrary--but there's certainly no reason to thing that the whole situation is damaged beyond repair based on a low initial offer. Where else is the team supposed to start? They come in low, Lester comes in high, they meet somewhere in between or they don't.
For now, all we can do is wait and see. But it is nice to hear someone from up on high acknowledging that the situation is still very much on their radar, however obvious that may have been.