Never has a real estate listing made me so sad.
Red Sox reporter Nick Cafardo tweeted on Tuesday that Jon Lester has put his house in Newton, MA up for sale. According to a boston.com article, the Charles River adjacent mansion starts at whopping $1.85 Million. So what does that mean for the Sox? It’s another nail in the coffin for Lester’s career in Boston. People who plan to return somewhere usually don’t sell their property in said place before coming back.
Lester had a strong second half of the season after being traded to Oakland. He posted a 2.35 ERA and held a respectable 6-4 record. He also pitched relatively well in the AL Wildcard game against the Kansas City Royals, allowing 3 runs over seven strong innings and striking out five, before being charged with three more in the 8th.
Lester is set to become a free agent this offseason, and with a track record as a durable workhorse, and an impressive 2.57 career postseason ERA , he will be a highly coveted pitcher during the winter months. He has drawn interest from teams including the Red Sox, Mariners, Yankees, Cubs, and Tigers, and could command a contract upwards of $175 million dollars over 7 years.
Don’t get me wrong I haven’t given up hope. Excluding David Ortiz, Jon Lester is still the first player that comes to my mind when I think of great current Red Sox players (Yes, even more so than Dustin Pedroia) . He was a great feel good story early in his career, after battling non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2006 and returning to the Majors in 2007. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2007, pitching 5.2 shutout innings in the clinching Game 4. I sat in the right field grandstands and screamed my 14-year-old face off, when he threw his no-hitter in 2008. He dominated all of last year and got his second World Series ring. He was and still is a consummate professional in the game of baseball.
These are the memories of the good times we have of Jon Lester with Boston, and there’s no way in hell he doesn’t look back at these moments with fondness as well. Is it enough to make him come back for less money? The eternal Boston homer in me says yes. But when you look objectively at the situation as a whole, it’s becoming more and more likely that the next time Jonny Lester pitches at Fenway, he won’t be wearing his home whites.