Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, addressing Jon Lester's contract situation in an interview with WEEI, said there would be "continued dialogue" with the potential free agent left-hander and that the team's previous offer to Lester hadn't hurt any future negotiations.
“Nobody is using any one data point as a means to sort of drive a conversation in one direction or the other," Cherington said on the Dennis & Callahan show when asked about the team's reported "lowball" offer of $70 million for four years. "We’re all just focused on relying on the relationship that’s been built over 12 years as a way to try to find a constructive resolution to a challenging issue.”
Cherington said the Red Sox have built a strong relationship with Lester that will allow for discussions to continue.
“I think a lot has been written about this," Cherington said. "I think what I take out of this, more than anything, is what’s said if you ask [Sox owners] John Henry, Tom Werner, Larry Lucchino, myself, if you ask Jon Lester ...I think what all of those people would say is that there’s a strong relationship here that goes back 12 years and that strong relationship will allow for a continued dialogue.”
Cherington agreed with Lester's recent statements that the last-place Red Sox (43-52 at the All-Star break) should be focusing on the field.
“I think that Jon feels like right now is the time to focus on the field and focus on the team...There’s been a lot of talk, I don’t think anything coming from any of those people [ownership or Lester] I just mentioned. ... It’s out there and I just don’t don’t put much stock in it and it’s because none of it’s coming from the people that are actually a part of the conversation.”