Red Sox ownership can hear the Tell-Tale Heart and it's driving them crazy.
It's the sound of cash registers 'cha-chinging' every time Jon Lester throws another gem.
It's the sound of free agency creeping closer and the prospect of losing their ace without getting anything in return.
It's the regret of offering Lester a $70 million extension in spring training - less than half what he would likely get on the open market.
On Arbella Early Edition, Kirk Minihane and Gary Tanguay discuss Lester's future with the Red Sox.
"If you want to sign [Lester], you don’t start with a $70 million offer,” says Tanguay.
Just about everyone agrees that the Red Sox made a poor decision by offering one of the best starting pitchers in the league - and a lefty to boot - a lowball offer.
Now, Minihane says it's too late to repair the damage.
“[The Red Sox] are not going to sign him. They can say they want to give him $120 million. You know that’s not going to happen. He’s not coming back. He’s gone. Jon Lester is gone-zo.”
Losing Lester at the end of the season would be a terrible prospect - and a PR nightmare - for the Red Sox ownership group.
"I think John Henry is going to panic," says Tanguay. "If they don’t have Lester, they’ve got nothing.”
Sources have indicated that Lester would be willing to re-sign if the Sox presented a $120 million extension, which would still be a fairly sizable hometown discount.
“You don’t give guys $130 million because you panic," says Minihane. "At least the Red Sox say that’s not what they’re going to do. If they do, it’s a different conversation. To me it’s a sign they’re giving in to the pressure again, which got them screwed in the first place.”
Minihane believes Lester will be traded in the next couple of weeks, and while that may not be ideal, at least the team would get something in return as opposed to losing him at the end of the season.
Let us know what you think. Will the Sox agree to an extension with Jon Lester? Will the team trade him for more young prospects? Or will Lester leave as a free agent at the end of the season, leaving the Red Sox high and dry with only themselves to blame?