The Red Sox traded Jon Lester away before the July 31 deadline, but they made sure to make it publicly known that they wanted to bring him back to Boston during the offseason. Rumors have continued to swirl that make it seem as if they are actually the favorites to land the coveted free agent lefty, and now they've reportedly made an actual offer to him, according to ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes.
The terms of this offer are not known, but it's safe to guess that they're much better than the four-year, $70 million offer made by the Red Sox back in March. That was rejected, future negotiations went nowhere, and Lester was dealt for Yoenis Cespedes when it was clear bringing him back to the Red Sox was not going to be a sure thing. What is still up for debate, though, is what the Red Sox consider to be a "competitive" offer for Lester. Is it something more for public relations purposes than anything, where the Sox put a reasonable but easily beaten offer out there? Is it more like the Ellsbury offer from last year, where the Sox will just submit Lester an offer that clearly only works for one side? Or has Boston gone all out and given Lester 140 million reasons or so to sign with the Red Sox? No one knows besides the Sox and Lester right now, but the news will surely get out there sooner than later.
The only hint right now comes from Marino Pepén, who tweeted that the Red Sox offered Lester six years. If true, it pushes us away from the pseudo-competitive realm and more into the actually trying to re-sign him area. It hasn't been reported by anyone else, however, so exercise emotional and logical caution until it is, please.
Lester met with the Cubs on Tuesday -- the same Cubs who believe Lester is returning to the Red Sox -- and will head to Atlanta to meet with the Braves on Thursday. Lester owns a mansion in Atlanta, so it would make sense for him to see what the Braves have to offer, but they're maybe not in the financial position to be locking up Lester at what he should cost, either. Peter Gammons reported on Tuesday morning that Lester's camp is waiting to see if the Yankees are going to get involved in any negotiations, as they do have that magic touch that makes contract values skyrocket.