Jon Lester sees his departure from the Boston Red Sox and David Price’s arrival at Fenway Park as nothing personal, just the business of baseball.
Lester told The Chicago Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer on Monday he bears no grudge against the Red Sox for their pursuit of Price or the mammoth contract that his former AL East rival signed. In fact, Lester has offered Price his full support, as his Red Sox career is set to begin.
“Everybody has emotions and feelings and loyalty towards certain organizations, and obviously that one is special and unique to me,” Lester said. “… There’s no hard feelings by any means with those people. I still talk to (Red Sox manager) John Farrell. They were a big part of my life. And I’m always grateful for what they did for me, especially back in ’06, ’07 (during his cancer diagnosis and treatment).”
Lester added he had no hard feelings with Red Sox ownership “and definitely no hard feelings between me and David. I was more than excited for him to get that deal.”
The Red Sox traded Lester to the Oakland Athletics in July 2014 after reaching an impasse in a long-running contract negotiation with him. Five months later, Lester signed a six-year, $155 million free-agent contract with the Cubs ahead of the 2015 season.
The Red Sox acquired Price one year later, signing the left-hander to a seven-year contract worth $217 million.
Price arrives as Boston’s new ace. Lester, a two-time World Series winner with the Red Sox, says he told Price in a text he’ll do what he can to help him meet expectations.
“Congratulations,” Lester said his text read. “You’re going to love it. If you need anything, I still know a lot of people up there.”
Thumbnail photo via Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports Images
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