Red Sox's Lester a homebody

Red Sox's Lester a homebody
January 26, 2014, 2:45 pm
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(Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

Can you say “hometown discount”? If you’re Jon Lester, you sure can. Lester wants to keep pitching for the Boston Red Sox.

"I want to stay here," the Red Sox ace said at a recent Boston Baseball Writers event, as reported by mlb.com. "This is what I've known. I've grown up in this organization. I've had plenty of good times and plenty of bad times here. I enjoy it. My family loves it here. All my son talks about is going home to Boston. I mean, that's what he thinks is home.”

Lester (15-8, 3.75 ERA in 2013) is entering the final year of his contract, which pays him $13 million in 2014. Negotiations presumably will begin in spring training in a few weeks. But that kind of talk won’t get you vaulted into the stratosphere of Clayton Kershaw (seven years, $215 million from the Los Angeles Dodgers).

"I just can't really fathom signing a piece of paper like a Tanaka deal,” Lester said, referencing Japan’s Masahiro Tanaka, who will join the New York Yankees with a seven-year, $155 million contract. “Kershaw ... is completely out of the realm. But you look at these deals, it's out of this world. It's stuff you can't even imagine until it's put in front of you. Until that day comes, it's hard to talk about it. But the stuff you can talk about, like wanting to stay here and compete -- that's what we want to do."

And Lester clearly understands the dynamics of entering into a negotiation when you’ve laid most of your cards on the table. He even uttered the “d” word.

"I understand that to stay here you're not going to get a free-agent deal. You're not going to do it. You can't. It's not possible," he said. "You're bidding against one team. I understand that you're going to take a discount to stay. Do I want to do that? Absolutely. But just like they want it to be fair for them, I want it to be fair for me and my family.”