Any resolution to Jon Lester’s contract situation will have to wait until the fall.
Boston Red Sox principal owner John Henry said Wednesday in an email to the Boston Herald that negotiations between the team and the All-Star left-hander regarding a new deal have been tabled until the end of the season.
“I’m not going to discuss Jon’s situation out of respect for both Jon and (general manager) Ben (Cherington) other than to say that both sides have put further discussion off until after the season,” Henry wrote. “It’s clear that both Jon and our organization would like to see Jon back next year if possible.”
Red Sox president Larry Lucchino echoed Henry’s message Thursday morning in a interview on WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan,” saying Lester “made very clear to us that that was his preference.”
“It’s done in part out of respect for Jon Lester and his desire to postpone this until after the season,” Lucchino said. “He’s on an extraordinary roll. His last five or six games, his ERA is I don’t know, 0.90 or something like that. He’s leading this team, leading the rotation, and his very strong preference, as I think you might have heard from him just a day or two ago on national television, was not to have his family and himself distracted and focused on something other than pitching and winning baseball games.”
Lester is in the midst of the best season of his career — he leads the Sox in both ERA (2.50) and strikeouts (142) and boasts a 10-7 record — and has been especially dominant of late. The 30-year-old, who is set to hit free agency after this season, has allowed a total of one earned run in 31 innings over his last four starts, striking out 33 and walking four during that span.