Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What Tom Werner's Lester Comments Mean

Werner Doing Some Foreign Soccer Stuff (Getty Images)
In the midst of a wide-ranging interview with Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe (AKA John Henry's Journalistic Plaything), Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner sent some not-so-subtle signals about the state of negotiations with Jon Lester. Said Werner, "Jon Lester has been consistently strong in his career and durable. But with any player over 30, you have to be cognizant of the risks. But again, let me go back and say we love Jon Lester and we love his makeup as well as his pitching talents. He’s been in the organization his whole career and we want that to continue." Cognizant of the risks is the key phrase, here. The Red Sox have let it be known that they are wary of extending multi-year contracts to players over thirty—a prudent policy, by the way. It seems, however, that there is no equivalent to Lester's "hometown discount" on the management side. In other words, ownership appears unlikely to bend their policy for a guy who has grown up in their organization and produced. It's looking more and more like Lester will be wearing pinstripes next April.