FORT MYERS, Fla. — According to a major league source, the Red Sox expect to have resolution — one way or another — in regard to the contract negotiations with both David Ortiz and Jon Lester prior to Opening Day.
According to the source, none of the parties involved have a desire to continue talks into the 2014 season, which kicks off March 31 in Baltimore. That philosophy, of course, could change as the season unfolds.
Ortiz’s agent, Fern Cuza, was at JetBlue Park Thursday, while Lester’s agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, have been in communication with Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington throughout much of spring training.
Ortiz has gone on record as saying he is looking for a one-year extension beyond the 2014 season. Lester last discussed his contract talks March 5 after his first spring training start. The lefty is in the final year of his deal, and right now would be considered one of the top two pitchers on the market if he hits free agency (joining Detroit’s Max Scherzer.)
“Obviously being a pitcher doesn’t help. You have a lot more downtime,” Lester had said regarding any worries he might have while negotiating a deal. “I’m out there today and I’m not thinking about it. If I continue to do that, and continue to do my work [then it's not an issue]. It’s when you’re keeping your mind busy is when you don’t think about it. You can’t stress over it. It’s either going to get done or it’s not. We’ll see what happens. I want to be here, I like it here and I don’t want to change. But at the same time it’s a business, we have a process, they have a process and hopefully we’ll find happy ground.
“It’s a hard process. No matter how much you say you’ll take a hometown discount, or you’ll take this, or they’ll give you this or whatever. It’s the process of going through it. They have to cross their ‘t’s and dot their ‘i’s, we have to do the same and come back and try to find a happy medium for both sides.”
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