We’re not sure what the final numbers will be yet, but the Red Sox just shelled out close to $200 million (or more) to bring Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez to Boston. Is there any money left for Jon Lester, who by all indications was the team’s No. 1 offseason priority?
Yes, the Red Sox are still financially equipped to ink Lester (thanks in large part to the Dodgers taking nearly $30 million off their hands in 2012). But what if there are unforeseen ripples from the addition of Sandoval and Ramirez that might impact their ability to bring back Lester?
It appears, for example, that the Giants might use the money they had earmarked to retain Sandoval and pursue it on Lester, sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney.
The Giants and Red Sox, of course, are not alone in their interest in Lester. The Sox made an initial offer (thought to be in the $100-120 million range) last week to Lester, who subsequently paid visits to the Cubs and Braves. There were six teams who expressed interest in Lester at the GM meetings two weeks ago, according to an industry source. The Royals, Cardinals and Blue Jays have all been said to have expressed at least preliminary interest in Lester, and always lurking in the background are the New York Yankees.