Boston Red Sox starter Jon Lester, who was placed on waivers on August 25, 2012, has been claimed according to FOX Sports and other sources. It’s not clear what team might have claimed him or if anything will come of if, but there is a chance that Lester could be in another team’s uniform before the end of this season.
As of late, Lester (8-11, 5.01 ERA) has had some solid starts. But overall his season has been less than stellar. Remember that he has been a quality pitcher for many years. In the six seasons before 2012 he won 72 and lost 34. This year is the first in which he has lost more than 9 games. From 2008 through 2011, the lefty has a minimum of 15 wins per season. In 2010, he enjoyed his best season, getting 19 victories.
The last four games of the 2012 season he’s shown some good stuff. In that time, Lester is 3-1. He pitched 8 solid innings in his last start, which was against the Angels, allowing 5 runs. He did lose that one 5-2. In his three starts before that one, in all of which he was victorious, Lester gave up a total of just 4 runs. During that time, he put in 6 innings against the Indians and notched 12 Ks. He also beat the New York Yankees on August 18 by a score of 4-1; he tossed 7 complete innings.
Atlanta Can Use Him
The Atlanta Braves are one of a few likely teams who can really use Lester. The Braves are losing ground in the Wild Card race and are 6.5 behind the Washington Nationals in the NL East. Their starters are loaded with injuries as they have three on the DL, and they are very thin in the last two to three spots of their rotation.
Lester’s salary may be a problem as it’s on the high side compared to what Atlanta is willing to pay. Next season he’s scheduled to be paid over $11 million and the year after that he set to earn about $13 million. Compare that to what the Braves are paying starter Tim Hudson (13-5, 3.76 ERA), which is $9 million.
Lester May Stay
The Red Sox may want Lester to stay. He has been one of their most consistent pitchers, winning 15 or more games from 2008-2011. At this point, he’s a fairly young veteran and Boston can certainly use both of those aspects—the youth and the experience.
At this point when it comes to the Red Sox nothing would surprise me. I can see Lester staying as much as I can see him going to another team. I think the Red Sox should keep him.