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#pounditThursday, February 2, 2023

Jon Lester: ‘I’m not going to the highest bidder’

Jon LesterBarring some sort of unforeseen event, Jon Lester will not be pitching for the Oakland A’s next season. Oakland can’t afford him. And the more Lester talks, the more it sounds like he is hoping the Boston Red Sox make him a competitive enough offer that he can return to the place where he started his career.

Lester’s interview with Jon Tomasse of the Boston Herald earlier this week had two interesting takeaways — he isn’t necessarily signing with the highest bidder and he is by no means opposed to returning to Boston.

“My time there, the memories and all that stuff don’t get erased based on this whole ordeal,” Lester said. “I’m glad with where I’m at, and I understood where (Red Sox GM Ben Cherington) was at. At the end of the season, it’s not going to change my mind about going back there if they are aggressive and competitive and do the things they say they’re going to do. Boston is definitely a place I would go.”

[Related: David Ortiz hints Jon Lester will be back with Red Sox]

Lester added that the Red Sox told him before trading him that they planned on pursuing him aggressively this fall, but he basically said they don’t have to be all that aggressive.

“They told me, ‘We’re going to be aggressive. You’re going to get blown out of the water by some of these (other) offers,'” he said. “I’m like, ‘I don’t need to be blown out of the water.’ Why would I need to be blown out of the water? That doesn’t make or break your decision, at least for me. I’m not going to the highest bidder. I’m going to the place that makes me and my family happy. If that’s Boston, it’s Boston.”

It would be easy to envision a scenario where Lester plays for the A’s for a few months, helps them in the playoffs, and returns to the place he has called home for years. His family wouldn’t even have to move and his life would basically remain the way it was before.


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