Free-agent pitcher Jon Lester is slated to meet with the Giants on Monday, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney, as the Red Sox and the rest of the baseball world waits for the ace left-hander to make a decision on where to sign.
According to Olney, it’s not just those who hope to land Lester whose plans are on hold until he makes his choice. In many ways, writes Olney, Lester will set the price on other starters in the market:
Many other pitchers -- including those who could be traded, like Oakland’s Jeff Samardzija -- may have to wait for Jon Lester to set the price. Almost everything in the pitching market seems to be on hold until Lester makes his choice among offers from the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants (and perhaps others). Once that happens, the price ceiling will be established. “Then everything else will fall in line after that,” said one agent.
Lester and Max Scherzer are regarded as the two best free-agent pitchers, but some club evaluators fully expect Scherzer’s contract talks to carry over for weeks, as agent Scott Boras works to make a big deal happen -- something significantly more than the six-year, $144 million deal that the Tigers offered to Scherzer in the spring. Boras’ negotiations often play out way past the winter meetings.