Manager John Farrell said that he believes remains in the mix for free agent Jon Lester. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Manager John Farrell said that he believes remains in the mix for free agent Jon Lester. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO — Though there was a report on Monday that the field for Jon Lester appears to be narrowing to the Giants and Cubs, Red Sox manager John Farrell said that his team still believes that it has a shot to bring back the free-agent left-hander.

“I think we’re still confident that we can sign Jon. He’s obviously still going through this free agency process. As we came into this offseason, there were a couple spots in the rotation that we needed to add to and address. We’re in the midst of that right now,” said Farrell. “We’re still optimistic that he’ll be in a Red Sox uniform. There’s a lot of history between the Red Sox and Jon. We obviously have a strong desire to bring him back, and yet hopefully this is coming to a little bit of a head here.”

Farrell said that he’s been in contact with Lester — either through a phone call or texts — three or four times this offseason. While in some respects the Red Sox — and the rest of the baseball industry — must wait on defining the shape of their rotation until Lester makes his decision, the manager did not express any frustration about the lack of resolution.

“Jon’s going to go through his process as he needs to. He’s earned the right to get to this point in his career. And he’s a primary target for a number of teams. That speaks to his abilities as a player and as a pitcher,” said Farrell. “I think we’ll address every other need accordingly.”

Lester is coming off a year in which he went 16-11 with a career-low 2.46 ERA in a career-high 219 2/3 innings while punching out 9.0 batters per nine and walking 2.0 per nine. Farrell said that his dominant performance in his age 30 season showed a pitcher who has figured out how to adapt and remain a top-of-the-rotation contributor.

“He’s made necessary adjustments as any consistent big league has to make adjustments as they go through the league multiple times and year over year,” said Farrell. “That speaks to his work ethic and his awareness of who he is as a pitcher and how he can be most effective.”

That has convinced the Sox to make a heavy play for the left-hander. Whether the team ultimately goes far enough to retain him remains to be seen, but Farrell made clear that the Sox’ preference is to re-sign Lester.

“We’d love to have Jon back in a Red Sox uniform,” he said.

 

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier
Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes

SAN DIEGO — After the Red Sox signed Hanley Ramirez with the intention of making him their left fielder, manager John Farrell talked to Yoenis Cespedes about the possibility of playing in either center or right field. Cespedes said that he was open to such a possibility.

But while that development has been portrayed as something of a reversal, an industry source clarified that Cespedes never actually objected to the idea of changing positions after joining the Red Sox. Instead, when asked if he was open to playing right, he simply said that he was more comfortable in left because it was a position that he had played previously. The source suggested that the 28-year-old never actually resisted the idea of changing positions, but that once his relative comfort in left was established, the team opted to keep him in his primary major league position for the rest of the season while tabling conversation about a potential position place until the spring — after he would have had a chance to adapt to his new environment following his trade from the A’s (with a competitive balance pick) for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes.

Cespedes hit .260 with a .301 OBP and .450 slugging mark in 152 games with the Red Sox and A’s in 2014, including .269/.296/.423 with the Sox after the trade.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier

Jon Lester‘s agent, Seth Levinson, shot down a report that the Red Sox are out on Lester and that he is now deciding between the Cubs and Giants, telli

Jon Lester‘s agent, Seth Levinson, shot down a report that the Red Sox are out on Lester and that he is now deciding between the Cubs and Giants, telling WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that the idea is “absolutely untrue.”

MLB on FOX’s Ken Rosenthal had previously reported that “barring late change,” Lester was deciding between the Cubs and Giants.

For complete coverage from the winter meetings, visit www.weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

SAN DIEGO — The Red Sox announced that utility man Jemile Weeks (who is out of options) cleared waivers and was outrighted to the roster of Triple-A Pawtucket. The 27-year-old played in 14 big league games with the Red Sox last year after being acquired from the Orioles on Aug.

SAN DIEGO — The Red Sox announced that utility man Jemile Weeks (who is out of options) cleared waivers and was outrighted to the roster of Triple-A Pawtucket. The 27-year-old played in 14 big league games with the Red Sox last year after being acquired from the Orioles on Aug. 30 (along with Ivan De Jesus) in exchange for Kelly Johnson and Michael Almanzar. Though primarily a second baseman in the big leagues, the 2008 first-rounder has also played short and center in the big leagues. In addition to second, short and center, he’s also played left field in the minors.

Weeks has a career minor league line of .285/.380/.406. He has a big league line of .260/.322/.360, including a .308/.406/.423 line in 32 plate appearances with the Sox last season.

With the outright assignment of Weeks, the Red Sox now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier

SAN DIEGO — According to a major league source, Jon Lester is expected to make his decision as to where he will sign Tuesday.

SAN DIEGO — According to a major league source, Jon Lester is expected to make his decision as to where he will sign Tuesday.

There was some thought the process would be finalized as early as Monday night, but the interest of the teams involved (Cubs, Red Sox, Giants, Dodgers) continues to evolve.

Check back for more from the winter meetings …

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox rotation can't afford to struggle if the team hopes to restore its playoff ambitions in 2015.</p>
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Red Sox owner John Henry flew to Atlanta for a one-on-one meeting with Jon Lester on Friday.</p>
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