Red Sox “other” World Series hero to get $13MM for 2014 season.
The Boston Red Sox made a pair of decisions that surprised no one.
The first was to pick up their $13MM option on lefty starter Jon Lester. Lester posted a superb postseason, going 4-1 with an ERA of 1.56 and a WHIP of 0.952 in five starts. He struck out 29 over his 34.2 innings of work and opponents only hit .205 against him in the playoffs.
For the 2013 season, Lester posted a 15-8 record with a 3.75 ERA and 1.294 WHIP. He has hurled 200 innings or more in five of the last six seasons. Only once has Lester failed to own an ERA+ under 100 which occurred in 2012 when that number was 87. Of course, 2012 wasn’t the best of seasons to be a member of the Red Sox roster.
Lester could have voided the option had he finished first or second in the AL Cy Young voting for any season from ’09 to ’13. He finished fourth in 2010 – the only time he has received any CY consideration – and it is unlikely he will finish in the AL’s top two spots for 2013.
Declining Matt Thornton‘s $6MM was practically a given.
After coming to the Red Sox from the Chicago White Sox in a trade deadline deal, Thornton appeared in only 20 games and hurling 15.1 innings. In those 15.1 innings, Thorton allowed 22 hits, walked five and struck out nine. As a member of the Red Sox bullpen, opponents hit a gaudy .349 against the lefty.
To acquire Thornton, Boston sent Brandon Jacobs to Chicago.