Sorry Red Sox Nation. Jon Lester isn’t coming back to Fenway as a member of the Red Sox this year or ever. Instead of a jubilant homecoming, Lester has agreed to play for Theo Epstein’s Cubs in the North Side of Chicago, and instead of trying to help the Red Sox win their fourth title of the 21st century; he’ll be trying to help the Cubs win their first in over 105 years.
For Red Sox fans, they cannot be mad Lester, or blame him for not signing with the Red Sox since they made him a very low offer last year at an extension, an offer so low it was insult to the ace of the club, and then traded him at the trade deadline.
Now the Red Sox must focus on picking up at least two other starters to start the season. They are currently negotiating with Justin Masterson who has had a decent career since being traded to the Indians from the Red Sox in 2009 for Victor Martinez. At best Masterson is a number 3 starter, and wouldn’t quite bolster the starting rotation.
If they are able to sign Masterson they will still wither have to go after a free agent pitcher like James Shields, or get on the phone and pull a trigger on a trade. At this time the most likely trade and best for the club would be with the Philadelphia Phillies for ace, Cole Hamels.
Hamels has a hefty contract but his career numbers are similar to those of Jon Lester. He would cost a little less in salary than Lester, but the Red Sox would still have to part ways with players in order to get him.
At this point the Red Sox need to do everything they can to stay in contention in 2015, especially after all the money they spent on Sandavol and Hanley Ramirez.
So Ben, get on your iPhone and start making calls!!!!!!