|©2013 Kayla Chadwick|
2011: 15-9, 31 starts, 191.2 IP, 3.47 ERA, 75 BB, 182 SO
2012 projection: 15-9, 31 starts, 192 IP, 3.61 ERA, 74 BB, 180 SO
2012: 9-14, 33 starts, 205.1 IP, 4.82 ERA, 68 BB, 166 SO
2013 projection: 12-12, 33 starts, 211 IP, 3.71 ERA, 75 BB, 192 SO
2013: 15-8, 33 starts, 213.1 IP, 3.75 ERA, 67 BB, 177 SO
2014 projection: 14-9, 32 starts, 3.67 ERA, 71 BB, 193 SO
With the exception of the win-loss record, Bill James was essentially right on the money for Lester in 2013. Sure, Lester had slightly fewer strikeouts than James promised, but overall it was a solid projection of a solid season.
It's hard to believe that this time last year, the Sox brass was rumored to be considering a Lester for Wil Myers trade, and while Myers did well in his 88 games in Tampa Bay, I'm thrilled that we kept Lester.
This year it's Lester looking for a new contract. Rather than showing himself the door, he's looking to stay in Boston long term - but not at the expense of his own earning power:
"Obviously, Boston is my home. This is all I’ve known, all I’ve come accustomed to and all I want to know. My family enjoys it up there I enjoy it up there. There are a lot of factors in it. But at the same time, there’s a business side of it. Kind of like Jacoby [Ellsbury], I have to do what’s best for me and same thing with the Red Sox. Sometimes you have to part ways, hopefully that’s not the case when it comes down to us here in the future."
Lester is a talented left handed pitcher who has proven he can pitch in the AL East in high pressure situations, and as such he might command a longer contract than the Red Sox would be comfortable handing out.
Hopefully he and the Red Sox can work something out, because the last thing I want is for Lester to perform as Bill James has always projected - for some other team.