This time would be different, no doubt. Any extension undoubtedly be Lester's largest contract of his career. But for the team, the motivation remains the same as last time -- eliminating anxiety when it comes to executing the always uncomfortable task of putting together a solid starting staff for years to come.
Lester recently completed his worst season since becoming a regular starter for the Red Sox. While he made 33 starts spanning 205 1/3 innings, he maintained an ERA of 4.82.
After making $7.625 million this year, Lester will make $11.625 in 2013 and his current contract includes a $13 million team option for 2014. He signed a five-year, $30 million deal with the club in the spring of 2009.
Lester doesn’t believe a contract extension will be a priority for the Red Sox this offseason following their disappointing 2012 campaign. However, Bradford thinks it could be a great time for the team to see if they can lock up the lefty for years to come.
Despite his down year, Bradford notes that Lester was one of the game’s best left-handers from 2006-11. Entering the season, the 28-year-old had maintained an ERA of 3.33 over 128 starts from 2008-11.