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March 8, 2009 at 4:26 PM

Lester Agrees to Extension


According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Red Sox and Jon Lester have agreed in principle to a five-year, $30 million contract extension. The deal would also reportedly include a $13 million team option for 2014, and is contingent upon Lester passing a physical Tuesday. If the option is exercised, the Red Sox will have bought out Lester's first two years of free agency. Less than two years removed from being diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, Lester pitched to a 16-6 record in 2008 with a 3.21 ERA and 152 strikeouts in 210.1 innings. The big lefty then put up a 1-2 record with a 2.36 ERA in four post-season starts against the Angels and Rays, striking out 26 and walking only 5 in 26.2 innings.

Originally a second round choice (57th overall) by the Red Sox in 2002, the 25-year-old Lester owns a career record of 27-8 with a 3.81 ERA and 262 strikeouts in 354.2 innings pitched spanning 59 Major League starts. The winning pitcher in the deciding Game 4 of the 2007 World Series against the Rockies, Lester also threw a no-hitter on May 19, 2008 against the Royals. When he signs his contract extension, Lester will become the third former Red Sox prospect to do so, joining reigning MVP Dustin Pedroia (six years, $40.5 million) and All-Star Kevin Youkilis (four years, $40.25 million).