If you’re reading this, your heart had probably dropped multiple times when you’ve heard that our beloved Jon Lester could very well be traded. A man that has come through our system, worn a Red Sox jersey his entire career and has even beaten cancer and thrown a no hitter. A true “ace” on and off the field. I’m going to be realistic here. And I’m going to go ahead and say that I fully believe the Red Sox WILL trade Jon Lester. Here’s why:
The Red Sox are stingy. I mean HORRIBLY stingy. They have tons upon tons of payroll flexibility and a huge excess of money to spend, yet since the debacle of the huge contracts dished out to Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, the Red Sox are terrified of making those mistakes again. Because of that, they are very unwilling to dish out money to anyone, even a guy like Jon Lester. They have become the Oakland A’s version 2.0. The problem with that is that they have tons of money. Yet they won’t use it.
The Red Sox are also hesitant to extend Lester because they are worried his arm will give out or he’ll rapidly decline, like most pitchers in their 30’s tend to do in short spans. Here’s the problem with that. They’re guessing. They’re literally basing their opinions on other pitchers and not giving Lester enough credit. Do I think he’ll be dominating at age 34 or 35? No. I’m realistic. But the man is as good as anyone in the game (except Kershaw). Yes, I would put Lester on par with or even above David Price. However, my opinion has no weight to the front office in Boston.
Lastly, the Red Sox will trade Lester to acquire even more minor league talent and or Matt Kemp. My problem with that? Look at our minor league systems. We have a phenomenal surplus of talented kids waiting in the wings. Why in the world would you keep stacking an already stacked system when you can win as early as next year with your ace leading a talented pitching staff? As for Matt Kemp: I love the guy. I do. I’m a fan. And I fully believe he would succeed in Fenway Park. BUT he’s not Jon Lester. Lester is our guy and we love him. Though he has said multiple times he would re-sign with the Red Sox if he’s traded, I don’t buy it. The Red Sox wouldn’t pay him while he’s here, they’re certainly not going to overpay him when he’s on the verge of leaving. It hurts me to say this, but I fully expect Jon Lester to be pitching in another uniform in 2015 and beyond. You can thank Ben and company for that. They’ve ruined this season and they’ll ruin my respect by letting an icon like Jon Lester pitch anywhere but where he belongs: Fenway Park, where you and I love him and adore him.