Lester will become a free agent at the end of the season, and contract talks were halted before the end of spring training. A major league source told ESPNBoston.com in April that the terms the Red Sox offered to Lester were in the neighborhood of four years and $70 million ($17.5 million per year), a number first reported by FoxSports.com.
Lucchino would not comment on the negotiations, but in an interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI, he did say it would be “a mistake to get fixated on an opening offer.”
An average annual value of $17.5 million would lag below the $20 million-plus that is becoming the norm for top-of-the-rotation starters. This winter, two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw topped all pitchers with an AAV of $30.7 million when he signed a seven-year, $215 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 30-year-old Lester is 5-6 this season with a 3.45 ERA.
Information from ESPNBoston.com’s Gordon Edes was used in this report.