Lester Deal Iminent...Masterson Sharp
Yahoo Sports has reported that Jon Lester will be signed to a five year $30 million extension, pending a physical, which is just a formality. That would be the largest contract extension for someone with only two years of major league experience. Good job, Boston. This is a smart move in every way. Dustin Pedroia, who along with Kevin Youkilis were the driving forces in yesterday's World Baseball Classic USA win, had this to say...
“Everyone is excited about it,” Pedroia said. “You want to play for a long time with those guys you came up with. Jon is going to keep getting better and better. I’m sure by Year 5 of that deal he’s going to be an even better pitcher than he is right now.”
We watched Jon Lester improve immeasurably last year, his second in the big leagues, and as Pedey said, he's only going to get better. That's a scary thought for the rest of the league, especially with a healthy Josh Beckett pitching before him.
In Florida yesterday, the Red Sox bested the Rays by a score of 8-2, their first victory against them this spring. Justin Masterson was flat-out brilliant, going three scoreless innings and allowing one hit and no walks. He struck out three with his sweeping offerings. He said this...
“I felt like I was pounding the strike zone, which in spring training that’s what you want to do, make sure you’re pounding the zone,” he said. “I was happy, not satisfied. We’ve still got some things we can continue to get better at. They wanted me coming out and really throw all my pitches, and I felt like I did that overall,” he said. “The first couple of changeups, I pushed them a little bit, kind of left them up and away. But after that I was pretty excited with what took place.”
Justin will be in the rotation or, most likely, in the bullpen, where he will be a huge part of that bridge to Papelbon. Julio Lugo went 3 for 3 in the Rays game, improving his spring batting average to .533. I guess he wants a starting job! Jonathon Papelbon pitched a scoreless fourth, striking out the side but allowing two hits. Hey, it's spring...he was trying to throw strikes with gas. So all in all, a great day for the Boston Red Sox in the Sunshine State.
That's a wrap for this Monday. My congratulations go out to Jon Lester...we're all very proud of him and love him dearly. Click on this post's title for more news on Lester and yesterday's Masterson win, as well as coverage of the USA's win in the WBC. As always, BE WELL. Sayanara. Skol. Cheers. L'chaim (to life). See ya.