We've all been waiting for Jon Lester to actually get paid like he deserves, and it looks like we've finally hit that point. After completing the rounds on the first day of the winter meetings, Lester suddenly has four offers in hand that are in the $150 million range, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Previously, all of the offers were believed to be in the $130 million-plus range, but with Lester's decision coming soon, things have escalated towards the $25 million per year he was hoping for.
Here is where things get a bit dicey from an optimism standpoint: the Red Sox are one of the four teams who have submitted such an offer, and Lester didn't immediately embrace them and come back to Boston. That forces anyone assuming the Sox were the favorites if they would just spend like they should have been on Lester to face the possible reality that things just aren't working like that.
Or, maybe Lester is just heavily debating the offer of whichever team said they would go up to seven years and $175 million if they had to, and we're overreacting to his not making a decision immediately. Rosenthal stated that Lester still might not want to go to the team who offered $175 million, which is consistent with his in-season discussion on his free agency. He'll sign where he feels comfortable, and not necessarily with the team who offers the most.
Whether that team is the Red Sox now that they are finally offering around $150 million over six years, now that John Henry personally flew out to Lester's Atlanta home to talk Red Sox with him, is unknown. Lester and his agents are the only ones who know the situation at this point, and all anyone else can do is fill y'all in on the numbers that are floating around.
One last thing: Rosenthal cautions that this could take a little while longer to sort out, as some of the teams involved need to get their $150 million-ish bids signed off on by team ownership. No word on if one of those teams waiting for confirmation is the Red Sox.