The Boston Red Sox haven’t put away their wallets just yet.
The Red Sox remain engaged in contract negotiations with free-agent pitcher Jon Lester despite reportedly giving Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez contracts totaling nearly $200 million, multiple sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford on Monday.
A source told The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham that the process with Lester still is ongoing and the Red Sox’s recent signings do not preclude the left-hander’s return.
A major league source told Bradford that, as of Monday night, Lester and the Red Sox weren’t close on a deal but would continue their dialogue as the pitcher prepares to meet with other teams. Two major league sources told Bradford that no deadline has been set for Lester to agree to a deal with Boston.
Lester met with the Red Sox last week and received a contract offer from his former club, according to multiple reports. He also met with the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves, and it’s believed he’ll meet with the St. Louis Cardinals this week. The Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants also are rumored to be interested in Lester.
The Red Sox reportedly agreed to a five-year, $98 million contract with Sandoval and a four-year, $88 million deal with Ramirez this week. The signings undoubtedly boost the Red Sox’s offense, but Boston still needs to address the holes in its rotation.
Signing Lester, who spent his first eight-plus seasons in Boston before being traded at this year’s Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline, certainly would be another major financial commitment. It also would be an important step in the Red Sox’s effort to build a contender for 2015 and beyond.
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