ORLANDO — According to a team source, the Red Sox have not started talking about a contract extension for Jon Lester. The Sox are expected, however, to open negotiations with the starter around spring training.
Lester is in the final year of his current deal, with the Red Sox having picked up his $13 million option earlier in the offseason.
With Lester’s AAV counting for just more than $9 million (see an explanation of the pitcher’s luxury tax hit by clicking here), it would make sense for the red Sox to wait until after Opening Day for any agreement to be put in place.
Other members of the Red Sox’ starting rotation who are in the final years of their contract are Ryan Dempster and Jake Peavy. John Lackey’s team option for 2015 will most certainly be exercised considering it will be for the major league minimum due to a clause in his deal that protected the team against any serious arm injuries.
Clay Buchholz is under the Red Sox’ control through the ’17 season, with a $13 million club option for ’16 and one for $13.5 the following season.
Because of their current commitments in the rotation, the Red Sox don’t figure to be in on such high-priced starting options as Japanese hurler Masahiro Tanaka. The righty is slated to be posted by his current team, Tohoku Rakuten, whom he went 24-0 with during this past season.
“I don’t want to rule anything out. It’s November,” said Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington. “But we have a lot invested in that area already and feel pretty good. Relative to other areas of the team, that’s an area we have a little more depth already.”
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