Now that I've had a few hours to watch "Bridget Jones' Diary", cry into my gallon of ice cream, and tell myself there are plenty of other fish in the sea, I'm ready to handle this breakup like a man. Jon Lester didn't sign with the Red Sox. And there's a simple reason why. Management didn't want him here. Whether it be owndership, Larry Lucchino, Ben Cherrington, or the front office as a whole, the organization decided it was best to part ways with Lester. That is all that can possibly be taken from the way things went down early this morning.
Ben Cherrington said about Lester today, "We would've like more of a dialogue". This would suggest that Lester's camp didn't communicate with the Sox when they were thinking about taking the Cubs offer. Sounds oddly familiar, no? That's because it's the same tactic they used with Johnny Damon and Pedro Martinez. Henry and the boys have become notorious for giving offers just high enough to appease the fans but just low enough for the player to leave. They didn't want Lester for any more than 4 years. That's why an offer that big was never made while Lester was under the Sox control. Then when offers came flying Lester's way, they jumped at the chance to save face with their fans and offer something that everyone can agree is about what a player like Lester is worth. Seems fair enough. But when you lose out to Theo, Larry's arch nemesis, by $20 million dollars, fans should view that as a slap in the face.
Now, some fans will say, Lester couldn't sacrifice $20 million to come back here? He's still be getting $135 million. I've never understood those people. Would you sacrifice that large a percentage in your career? Would you take less than you feel you're worth just because you like some of the people you work with? And would anyone reading this ever turn down an extra $20 mill, no matter the circumstance? Of course not. I'm not saying that no ego went into it on Lester's side. He felt disrespected by that offer in spring training and he wanted to feel the love this time around. If the Red Sox really wanted him, they could've done it a long time ago. They chose not to.
The Red Sox do still have options. Rumors have been circulating about Cole Hammels and Wade Miley. In different way, both of their numbers could be compared to Lester's. But there's a big key factor to a lot of guys that the Red Sox miss, time and time again. The ability to play in Boston. It's fair to say that's overrated. But if you look at the laundry list of guys like Carl Crawford, Matt Clemente, Edgar Renteria, Eric Gagne, and others, there might be something to it. Keeping a guy who has not only proven he can perform here, but enjoys doing it, is so crucial that it amazes me the the ownership of this team continues to have it's head in the clouds and think they can just plug anyone in and get the same result. My only question is, why would Jon Lester or any other premiere player want to be here?