BOSTON -- David Ortiz wants Jon Lester on the Red Sox, clear and simple. The designated hitter is aware of all of the surrounding the team prior to Thursday's trade deadline. Ortiz is aware that the team could look completely different come Friday when the Yankees come to town to open up a three-game series.
Through all of the rumors, Ortiz wants the team to sign Lester, the team's biggest asset, to a long-term contract and is confident that the two sides will eventually come to an agreement. Even with the team sinking deeper into the dark abyss of the American League East, Ortiz wants a deal for Lester done.
"I still believe at some point they’re going to get an agreement and get to enjoy seeing Lester pitch another eight to ten years or whatever," Ortiz said. "He’s young, very talented, won a couple World Series. He’s in his prime. What else?"
Ortiz sang the praises of Lester, who is in midst of the strongest seasons of his career, posting a 2.52 ERA, 142 strikeouts and 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings.
"He’s one of the best pitchers in the game," Ortiz said prior to Monday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays. "You definitely want to rebuild around a guy like him. He brings everything to the table every time he takes the mound, he takes his job very seriously. I don’t know where [the rumor] comes from…it might come from the front office or whatever, but when you’re planning on trading that type of a player, you must be getting half a team from some other place."
Manager John Farrell said prior to Monday's game that there is no trade imminent on the horizon, despite all of the trade rumors.
"It’s the time of the season where, as a GM, you go out there and change what you can change. But the trade rumor about my left-hander, I don’t know where it comes from," Ortiz said. "When you’re planning to trade a player like that, that kind of a player in today’s day, you must be getting half the team of some places. This is a really good player.
Given how Lester has handled pitching in the Boston market from a young age, Ortiz says that Lester deserves a long-term contract with the team.
"You have a guy that through his career playing here has been able to do what he’s done," Ortiz said. "He’s a keeper."