The Red Sox made a formal offer to free-agent left-hander Jon Lester while meeting with him in Boston, according to a report from Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the offer was for a six-year deal in the $110-120 million range, meaning that the Red Sox are serious in their pursuit of Lester.
Lester visited with the Red Sox early in the week, as well as reportedly meeting with the Cubs on Tuesday and the Braves on Thursday. The Blue Jays, Royals and Cardinals have also been linked to him, but it is currently unknown if he will visit any of those teams or not.
Lester, who turns 31 in January, was traded from Boston to the Athletics in a deadline deal that sent Yoenis Cespedes to Boston, but expressed interest in returning to Boston this winter in his immediate comments after the trade. The Red Sox traded him after months of rumors about extension talks, with the team most notably offering only a four-year, $70 million deal at the beginning of the negotiations.
Boston has Clay Buchholz and Joe Kelly headlining a rotation that is likely to have youngsters Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Brandon Workman and Anthony Ranaudo in the mix, so they are likely to add a veteran starter or two this winter. Reports have indicated that free-agent James Shields is an option as well, along with Phillies' trade candidate Cole Hamels.