It’s not that Jon Lester isn’t confident he can work out a new contract with the Boston Red Sox, but he just doesn’t want to talk about it right now.
The Red Sox left-hander, who will be a free agent at season’s end, has said multiple times that his contract talks with the team are an “added distraction” that he hopes to table until the offseason.
In an interview with WBZ’s Dan Roche before Tuesday’s game, however, Lester reiterated that his unwillingness to discuss his contract doesn’t mean he thinks a deal can’t get done.
“There is no reason not to have hope,” said Lester, via CBSBoston.com. “It’s hard for people on the outside to believe, just because you look at the situation and where we’re at. … The talks have been amicable and everybody has been good to each other as far as being truthful, being honest and up-front with guys.”
Lester said in spring training that he’d be willing to take a “hometown discount” to stay in Boston, but Lester and his agent rejected a reported four-year, $70 million offer from the team in April.
“I’ve been, I don’t want to say happy because I would have liked to have had something done in spring training, but I’m fine and I feel like (general manager Ben Cherington) and all the other guys have been fine with our conversations and where we’re at with them,” Lester added.
“When the time and the place comes, we’ll sit down and try to iron it out.”
Lester’s determination to focus on his pitching and not his financial future has paid off this year. The lefty ace, who was named to his third All-Star team last weekend, hasn’t allowed an earned run in 16 consecutive innings and the Red Sox have won his last five starts.