Lester, Youk, Lugo and other topics
This is obviously terrific news for the Red Sox that Jon Lester is seemingly on the verge of signing a five-year deal, $30 million that includes a $14 million option for 2013. So now the Red Sox, going into the next four to five years, know that they can depend on a sturdy nucleus of Pedroia, Youkilis, Lester and Ellsbury.
It is so hard to find a big, strong lefty like Lester that you can anchor a staff around, so you knew the Red Sox would pounce at the first opportunity to get him secured for the forseeable future.
Of course, the Jonathan Papelbon situation is still year to year, and you wonder if the sides will ever meet up there. Papelbon has made it clear that he wants to get his maximum worth, and the Red Sox might eventually deem that they can get someone like Daniel Bard to do the job at far less money.
Speaking of Bard, I don’t ever remember a prospect who was all but a lock not to make the team having a camp like this. He is just overpowering hitters.
The Red Sox are representing themselves well at the World Baseball Classic. A day after Dice-K got the win for Japan, Youkilis just obliterated a towering home run, his second longball in his many days. Dustin Pedroia might have broken out of his swing, golfing a pitch down the left field line for a double in Team USA’s big top of the sixth inning.
Meanwhile, in Fort Myers, the shortstop situation continues to be intriguing becuase Julio Lugo and Jed Lowrie are both playing well.
“They both look good,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona.
“If that ends up being a dilemma, I’d rather have that happen than guys not
Lugo remains confident that he can be the player he was before coming to the Red Sox.
“Things are going to take care of themselves as long as I’m healthy,” Lugo said.
And fans will be happy to know that the shortstop is working very hard on his defense this spring with new infield coach Tim Bogar.
“Very well, i think Bogar is going to be a big help to me,” Lugo said. “He’s letting me be myself and making plays the way I know how to make it and that’s the way it should be. That’s what got you here. Just refine those skills and that’s it.”