Jon Lester will be back with the Red Sox in 2014. The left-hander hopes that the same can be said for 2015 and beyond.
The Red Sox on Friday exercised Lester’s contract option for 2014, guaranteeing that the 29-year-old will be around for Boston’s title defense next season. It was an unsurprising move, especially given Lester’s strong 2013 campaign, and the real question now is whether the two sides can come to terms on a long-term deal. Lester said that he hopes they can work something out.
“I haven’t had a chance to talk to [Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington]. But to obviously be back for another year is awesome,” Lester said, according to WEEI.com. “Hopefully that’s not the only one and we can be here for a long time. We’ll worry about that when the time comes.”
Lester just finished a five-year, $30 million deal that he signed prior to the 2009 season. The deal included a $13 million option for 2014, which, as mentioned, the Red Sox picked up on Friday. There were some concerns surrounding Lester going into this season, as the southpaw had a rocky 2012, but he went a long way toward silencing his critics with a strong year. Lester was especially solid in the postseason.
“That’s a foregone conclusion that option would be picked up,” manager John Farrell said. “The way he pitched through not only his entire career here, but it’s almost like he took it to a whole another level this postseason. He remained strong. He remained calm in the moment, when, Game 5 was a pivotal moment, and he walked to the mound like it was just another game and pitched with a calmness, a relaxation, and it was dominant, and it was great to see.”
Lester finished the regular season with 15-8 record and a 3.75 ERA in a career-high 213 1/3 innings over 33 starts. He went 4-1 with a 1.56 ERA in five postseason starts, which included two victories in the World Series.
Lester, who was drafted in the second round of the 2002 draft, has spent his entire career in Boston.