Report: Lester asks Sox to table contract talks

Report: Lester asks Sox to table contract talks
July 4, 2014, 2:30 pm
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Apparently the Jon Lester contract talks will have to wait...until the fall.

According to a report from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and MLB Network, Lester, a potential free agent after the season, has asked the Red Sox to table any negotiations until this season is over.

Lester, 30, is 9-7 with a 2.92 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 114 innings.

This comes on the heels of a report last week that Lester's contract status - and a reported low-ball offer of $70 million for four years - was causing tension in the Red Sox clubhouse.

More from Heyman's report:

Red Sox ace Jon Lester has told the team he would prefer to concentrate on his pitching and the season, so both parties are now operating on the assumption that contract talks are off until season's end.

A new contract "isn't the priority" for Lester at the moment, according to one person familiar with the situation.

Both sides are said to expect to pick up talks after the season, when Lester will become a free agent, with a strong interest on the part of both on working out a long-term arrangement.

One person close to Lester said he believes Lester has a desire to continue with the Red Sox, though of course as a free agent, there will be plenty of suitors. One of those pursuers is expected to be the Yankees, who are said by a source to be great admirers of Lester, especially for his big-game pitching record. He has helped the Red Sox win two World Series, pitching brilliantly in the fall classics of 2007 and '13.

The Red Sox had interest in reviving talks, but they are said to respect the pitcher's wishes to table the talks for now.