The talk in Boston all last month centered on whether Jon Lester would leave the Red Sox. Now that he’s gone, the conversation has shifted to whether he’ll come back.
Lester’s contract expires at the end of this season, and the Oakland A’s chances of matching his price on the open market are slim to none. So, is it realistic to believe Lester could return to Boston — a prospect the left-hander has said he’d be open to — just a few short months after being traded away?
That scenario doesn’t seem too far-fetched for Red Sox catcher David Ross, who was asked about his former teammate Thursday in his weekly appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich.”
“I think (Lester) has a special place in his heart for Boston, for sure,” Ross said. “He grew up here — why wouldn’t he? And then his family, and there’s a lot of history with him and the Red Sox. So, I wouldn’t put it past him. I know free agency is a crazy thing, but I definitely feel like it’s probably an option.”
Despite being the Red Sox’s backup catcher for most of his tenure with the team, Ross was Lester’s primary battery mate. Of the 21 starts the southpaw made before being dealt, Ross was behind the plate for 18 of them.
The veteran said it was tough to say goodbye and noted the inherent weirdness of player transactions.
“We were able to say our goodbyes, and hopefully see you around kind of thing,” Ross said. “It’s weird, baseball’s funny like where you’re really, really close, and then somebody gets traded and you may never talk to them again. It was one of those things, you’re happy for him but again, sad to lose a friend and a great player.”