That "discount" that Jon Lester has talked about may not be much of a discount after all.
The word is that Lester could want around $25 million per year, certainly not a check that the Sox will write without thinking long and hard.
Our guys on Early Edition, Gary Tanguay and Kirk Minihane, discuss what they would - or in Minihane's case - wouldn't do.
"I wouldn't [sign him]," Minihane said. "I look at Lester last year. Let's look at last year, forget October for a second, I know that's hard to do. He was 22nd in the American League in ERA, 22nd in WHIP. The year before that he was bad. Three months before that we were talking about whether this guy would be in the postseason rotation. I think he's a good pitcher, obviously. He's a solid pitcher no question. A B+ pitcher, sure. There is not a single season on his resume that says this guy is worth $23, $24, $25 million. Add on the fact that we're talking about a guy in his 30's, no way, I wouldn't do it. I'd let the guy walk. I let him pitch this season, see what happens, and let him walk if he wants $25 million a year."
Tanguay agrees to let Lester play out the season if that's the asking price, but he also has more faith in Lester than Minihane does.
"Here's my only thing: I thought Lester truly grew up just prior to the playoffs," Tanguay said. "I know you're saying, 'He's 30, what do you mean truly grew up?' I mean something changed in him. I have never seen him so focused. So tuned in, so plugged in as I did in the postseason . . . if he comes back and he pitches well this year, you have to think about it."
Tangauy puts his money where his mouth is.
"I'm going to make a bet with you right now," Tangauy said to Minihane, "Lester is an ace wire to wire this year . . . I'm going to go 18-6, 19-6 for Jon Lester."
Minihane takes the bet (what they're betting, we're really not sure).