Ben Cherington says he wishes the Boston Red Sox had some time with negotiate with Jon Lester prior to the 2014 season.
Lester agreed to a deal with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. He became a free agent this offseason after the Red Sox dealt him to the Oakland Athletics in July.
The Red Sox made Lester an offer of $70 million over four years, which has been reported multiple times. Cherington wishes Boston had a chance to improve that offer, which he felt was a starting point.
"Back at the beginning of this process, we made a commitment with (Lester's agent Seth Levinson) and Jon to not talk about the details of the conversations publicly and we've honored that," Cherington said. "So I'm not going to stop honoring that now.
"The problem when pieces of conversations or pieces of information get put out without the whole context of what's going on, it can sort of shape the public narrative. All I can say is that we had a lot of conversations prior to making an offer. I think there was a decent understanding on both sides of where, back in spring training, and during the season, of where the range of both sides were looking. We felt that we could enter into a conversation, and we could start a conversation and that’s the only way you get to a deal, is to start a conversation. We just weren't able to have the kind of dialogue back in the spring, or during the season, that we wanted to.
"As I've said before, can we learn things from what happened? Sure. Always can. But right now, once you get into free agency, it becomes a different animal. We understand that. Simply put, the Cubs offered more than we did and he made a choice and we respect it and wish him nothing but the best. We go back to focusing on putting our team together and we feel really good about where we are."