Sox to explore long-term deal with Lester

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox president Larry Lucchino indicated on Friday that the team will explore a long-term contract for pitcher Jon Lester.

Lester is in the final season of his six-year, $42.75 million contract and he also wants to remain in Boston. The veteran left-hander said this offseason that he would accept the proverbial hometown discount to remain with the Red Sox.

Ownership heard his comments loud and clear.

“Certainly for me, one of the highlights of the offseason were the comments Jon made about the organization and wanting to stay here,” Lucchino said. “He was so forthright and blunt about it. There was no game playing. It was really nice to hear it when you’re in our position. So, we will explore that matter as well during spring training.”