Boston, MA, United States (4E Sports) – Left-handed ace Jon Lester was thrilled to know that the Boston Red Sox had exercised its $13 million option to keep him for 2014, but hopes to stay longer.
“It’s awesome,” Lester said. “I haven’t had a chance to talk to Ben [Red Sox GM Ben Cherington] but to obviously be back for another year is awesome. Hopefully that’s not the only one and we can be here for a long time. We’ll worry about that at a different stage.”
Nonetheless, like most of his teammates, Lester was more interested in thinking about celebrating his team’s title parade Saturday than contractual concerns.
“I was told where to go and sit on a duck boat and wave, and that’s about it. This year, we’ll definitely enjoy it a little bit more,” said Lester, who got to the parade early with his family.
Lester noted he intended to really enjoy it and let everything soak in.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said was a foregone conclusion that option would be picked up on Lester, whom he described as a calm, relaxed pitcher who was dominant.
“The way he’s pitched, not only his entire career here, it’s almost like he took it to a whole new level this postseason,” said Farrell. “He remained strong. He remained calm in a moment when Game 5 was a pivotal moment and he walked to the mound like it was just another game.”
Lester had just completed the final year of a five-year, $30 million contract and has spent his entire eight-year career with the team.
The 29-year-old Lester Lester was 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA in the regular season, and led the team in games started (33), innings pitched (213 1/3), strikeouts (177) and quality starts (20).
Lester was 4-1 during Boston’s World Series-clinching run.
He won, allowed only one run and nine hits in 15 1/3 innings in both his starts in Games 1 and 5 against the St. Louis Cardinals.
His 0.59 ERA was the best by a Red Sox pitcher making multiple starts in a World Series since Hugh Bedient in 1912 (0.50).
Lester was selected by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2002 draft and has a 100-56 record with a 3.76 ERA in 221 career regular-season appearances.
His 1,237 career strikeouts are the most ever by a Red Sox left-hander.