There was always the hope, however slim, that the Red Sox would convince Jon Lester to return to Boston this winter as a free agent. If that hope existed at all, it's even slimmer now, as the current A's pitcher put his Newton Highlands house on the market, according to the Boston Herald's Scott Lauber.
Now, Lester could always pull his house back off the market, as it's not like real estate -- especially $1.85 million real estate -- moves exponentially faster than the free agent market. With that being said, though, before his team is even eliminated from the playoffs -- the A's play the Royals in the AL Wild Card round on Tuesday night -- Lester has already put his house up for sale. It might not be the reason to give up entirely on Lester coming back to the Sox, but it makes a reality where Lester is pitching for the Tigers or the Cubs or whomever in 2015 and beyond seem that much more possible.
If the Red Sox are to woo Lester back, they'll have to significantly up their in-season offers in both years and dollars. A four-year deal, even at $20 million per season, isn't going to bring in Lester, nor will it secure a legitimate replacement for his services as a top-of-the-rotation starter.