NEW YORK -- Having turned down a four-year, $70 contract extension from the Red Sox in spring training, it now appears unlikely that Jon Lester will re-engage the Red Sox in further negotiations until after the season.
"I think that was pretty well-stated by both sides,'' said Lester after the Red Sox lost to the Yankees, 7-4, "that we were going to pause it for now. And I took that as, you know, the season. I know how this stuff can be -- not only as an indivudual, but as a team. It can be a distraction, teammates getting questions, stuff like that.
"So I feel like we'll just wait-and-see, see where we're at.''
As recently as the day before the season began, Lester hinted that he wouldn't be opposed to re-starting talks during the season. But further discussions about the concept led him to decide to wait.
Lester didn't seem particularly bothered by the fact that the Red Sox offer was reported and confirmed by numerous media outlets.
"It is what it is,'' he said. "That's kind of the nature of the beast, playing in a market like this. It's hards to keep things under wraps. But like I said, when things ended at the beginning of the season, (there were) no hard feelings. I think both sides walked away in good places. Like I said, we'll pick it up when the time comes.''
Asked if he remained optimistic that a deal could still be reached to get him to remain with the Red Sox, Lester said: "I think we're always hopeful, absolutely. Like I've stated before -- and I would like to think what they've said is true -- I want to be here. They said they want me here. So, (it was) just at that particular time, things didn't pan out, didn't work out.
"When the time comes, we'll sit down again.''