Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
2014 Stats (BOS/OAK): 22 GS, 11-7, 2.59 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 149.2 IP, 137 H, 2.0 BB/9, 9.1 K/9
Age on Opening Day 2015: 31
2014 Salary: $13 million
Allow me to save you, honorable Bostonian, the trouble of posting the requisite "Stupid Yankees Fan" or "Lunatic New Yorker" comment in the comment section below for even suggesting that Jon Lester would dare sign with the hated New York Yankees.
I get it.
But the Red Sox had their chance to keep Lester in the fold, and they blew it when making him a low-ball four-year, $70 to $80 million extension offer that the team had to know wasn't going to be accepted, given what the going rate for front-line starting pitchers is these days.
As for Lester's stance earlier this season that he wanted to re-sign with the Red Sox? He wasn't so committed to his former employers when asked about his future plans by The Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy, saying only "We'll see where that relationship goes later on."
That relationship is over. It's going nowhere.
ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand recently examined whether Lester's future would take him to the Bronx, looking at the team's rotation as the major factor:
Consider this: Going into next spring, the Yankees will have these question marks in their rotation:
1. CC Sabathia will have missed most of this year after knee surgery.
2. Masahiro Tanaka, at best, will be pitching with a rehabilitated right elbow. At worst, he will need surgery and miss the entire season.
3. Ivan Nova will not join the club until sometime during the season after Tommy John surgery.
4. Michael Pineda will have pitched very little over the past three years, making him hard to count on.
5. Hiroki Kuroda probably won't be back.
That leaves the Yankees with...a whole lot of nothing.
Adding Lester, who is battle-tested in the AL East and has a track record of success, would go a long way toward shoring up that incredibly shaky rotation.
Prediction: Signs a five-year, $145 million deal with New York