— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) December 15, 2014
@davidortiz Ha! Figured the only way to get my 1st major league hit was to don the number of the greatest hitter I’ve ever seen. Love u bro!
— Jon Lester (@JLester31) December 16, 2014
Well this is wonderful and depressing at the same time. We got Justin Masterson and Rick Porcello and Wade Miley, three pitchers under 30 who are by no means a staff ace, but we will absolutely bolster the Red Sox starting staff. Unfortunately, we got those three guys because we no longer have Jon Lester. If Masterson, Porcello or Miley don’t become David Ortiz’s best friend immediately, I don’t know if he’ll be able to recover. Side note: saying HAHAHA in a conversation has now been replaced by jajajaja.
The deal is for six years and $155 million, a source confirmed to ESPNChicago.com’s Jesse Rogers. It includes a signing bonus of at least $20 million and a vesting option for a seventh year that could bring Lester’s total take to $170 million, sources confirmed to ESPN.
Extremely difficult decision for me and my family but we love the outcome and couldn’t be more excited to join the Cubs organization! #NVRQT
— Jon Lester (@JLester31) December 10, 2014
To Red Sox Nation, I understand the disappointment. Boston will always have a big place in my heart and we’ll always consider y’all family!
— Jon Lester (@JLester31) December 10, 2014
Theo got his guy, and the Chicago Cubs just got a class act, a great pitcher and one hell of a model American. When I saw the report last night that Lester had narrowed it down to the Cubs and the Sox, I knew it was over. If you’re Jon Lester, would you rather go to the guy who helped signed you to the Red Sox and developed you as a player and a person, or to the guys who just offered you almost $100 million less than you’re going to make now? Easy decision, and if I was Jon Lester, I would’ve done the same thing. Would I have been ecstatic if the Sox signed Lester to the same deal? Absolutely, but only time will tell if it’s too much money or too many years. Lester turns 31 in January, which means he’ll be 37 when the deal is done. He clearly shows no signs of slowing down, but that could change in a few years. I wish him all the best, though, and this is easily the least heartbroken I’ve been over a Red Sox player signing elsewhere, mostly because we did this to ourselves. Lester is a certified ace, and the $70 million offer last year was a joke. Now it’s time to find some pitching on the open market and get back to work on reclaiming the AL East.
The Red Sox Are On The Verge Of Signing Pablo Sandoval & Hanley Ramirez, & The Wheeling & Dealing Is Just Getting Started
CBSSports.com had earlier reported the agreement, which comes on the heels of Boston’s reported deal with free-agent infielder Hanley Ramirez. Fox Sports is reporting that the Red Sox and Ramirez are finalizing a five-year, $90 million contract.
As the Giants have discussed Plan B moves in case they lost out on Sandoval, they’ve talked about the possibility of pursuing left-hander Jon Lester, sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney. The Red Sox also remain engaged in talks with Lester about a possible reunion.
If I may quote FBI Special Agent Adam Frawley in ‘The Town’, “this is the not fucking around crew.” The Red Sox front office is NOT playing around this offseason. It’s not even December yet, and they’re already very close to signing two big bats, which in turn will lead to the addition of some pitching depth. Not only does adding Sandoval add a big ol’ bat, but he also plays a great third base, and hopefully his presence in Boston signifies the end of the Will Middlebrooks era. IF the Sox get both Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, then it seems like their next move would be to trade for a pitcher. With Ramirez, and assuming Xander stays at short, the Red Sox would have Mookie Betts, Shane Victorino, Rusney Castillo, Yoenis Cespedes, Daniel Nava, Allen Craig and even Jackie Bradley Jr. as potential opening day outfielders on their roster. While you can never have too much talent, the Red Sox don’t really need 8 outfielders. Betts and Castillo are clearly the future in Boston, and out of the remaining 6 outfielders, they can get the most out of trading Cespedes, who they probably won’t resign next year anyway. They’re still in the hunt for Lester, and if I’m Jon Lester, the addition of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval only wants to make me pitch for Boston that much more. If the Sox can somehow get Lester and trade a still in his prime Cespedes for a front of the line rotation guy, they are going to be a scary team next year. Assuming Ortiz doesn’t play until he’s 50, we also now have a few guys who can take over for Big Papi at DH when he finally decides to hang it up. If the Red Sox front office were trying to generate some buzz heading into spring training, they’re doing a hell of a job.
The Athletics also will receive outfielder Jonny Gomes while the Red Sox will get Oakland’s competitive balance draft pick, according to the source.
The deal marks the end of Lester’s storied stint with the Red Sox, who won two World Series with the left-hander at the top of their rotation.
The 30-year-old Lester, Boston’s lone All-Star this season, is 10-7 with a 2.52 ERA this season.
Lester, who is scheduled to become a free agent after this season, had publicly stated his desire to remain with the Red Sox. But contract negotiations stalled this past offseason, when Lester reportedly turned down Boston’s four-year, $70 million offer.
But the Athletics paid a hefty price for Lester in Cespedes, the two-time reigning Home Run Derby champion who has 17 homers and 56 RBIs this season.
I don’t know about anyone else, but this is kind of a relief. I would have liked them to keep Lester for the rest of this year and resign him, but he’s wasting the rest of this year here, and eventually the offers from contending teams were going to be too good to pass up. So you lose Lester for the rest of this year, and you hope you can convince him to resign in the offseason. Anyone who says the Red Sox are completely out of the race to resign him are high, especially with everything Lester has gone through in Boston. He loves Farrell. He loves Pedroia. He loves Ortiz. He might get more money elsewhere, but the Sox will be at the top of the list. On the flip side, we fill a huge void in our lineup with a power hitting, uber fielding outfielder in Yoenis Cespedes. You wanted the Sox to get someone proven in return for Lester, and that’s exactly what they did. It hurts losing Gomes, who at this point is more a clubhouse guy than a good player, and Lester was our ace, but that’s the business of baseball. I’ll never forget the no hitter. I’ll never forget him dominating the postseason last year. He was a warrior, and I hope he’s back in Boston soon. Also, the A’s rotation is kind of unfair now. They could trot me out in LF and win a few playoff series.
In the meantime, this is going to be nice to get used to: