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Jon Lester really wants to stay in Boston. So much so that he's willing to take a discount in order to sign a long-term extension to remain a member of the Red Sox, writes the Boston Herald's Scott Lauber.
Take it away, Mr. Lester:
"I want to stay [in Boston]. This is what I've known. I've grown up in this organization. I've had plenty of good times and plenty of bad times here. I enjoy it. My family loves it here. All my son talks about is going home to Boston. That's what he thinks is home. Like I said, if it all comes down to it, we want to be here."
Lester and the club haven't yet talked about an extension. The 30-year-old left-handed starter is in the final year of his contract this year, and will earn $13 million. Talks could happen during spring training, and Lester welcomes them.
Some big deals have been handed out to starters in the past week: Clayton Kershaw's record contract, and Masahiro Tanaka's pact with the Yankees. Lester knows he has a responsibility to the union, but he also understands that he's willing to leave some money on the table if it means staying in Boston, and the Red Sox remaining competitive:
"I understand that to stay here you're not going to get a free agent deal. You're not going to do it. You can't. It's not possible. You're bidding against one team. I understsand that you're going to take a discount to stay. Do I want to do that? Absolutely. But just like they want it to be fair for them, I want it to be fair for me and my family. If we can get to something hopefully in spring training, that's awesome."
Dustin Pedroia did the same, took a discount, when he chose to stay in Boston, signing an eight-year, $121-million deal to stay in the city through 2021. And, let's face it, Pedroia sets the standard in Boston. If he can take a discount, anyone can.
Look for Lester and the Red Sox to talk contract, and for a deal to get done, in the spring.