Contract extension talks between the Boston Red Sox and starting pitcher Jon Lester are being put on hold, according to the Providence Journal.
General manager Ben Cherington told the newspaper the two sides decided to “hit the pause button” on the negotiations after hoping to have a deal worked out by Opening Day.
Cherington recently said talks were going well but since they could not work out a deal, they decided to focus on the season instead. Lester and the club are still interested in possibly reviving talks later in this year.
Lester, 30, has one year left on his contract. He is reportedly looking for a new deal for five years and about $100 million. Last year, Lester was 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA in 213 1/3 innings pitched.
Red Sox OF Victorino having MRI
Boston Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino injured his right hamstring in Saturday’s spring training finale and he was scheduled to have an MRI.
Manager John Farrell said Victorino’s status for Monday’s season opener is questionable, according to ESPNBoston.com.
Farrell said Jackie Bradley Jr., who was sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket, could be called back up if Victorino needs to be replaced.
Victorino will fly with the team to Baltimore for the opening series against the Orioles but will be evaluated in Boston on Sunday.
Jonny Gomes, the Red Sox’s fourth outfielder, would likely start in place of Victorino if he cannot play.
Napoli drives in three in loss
The Red Sox ended their spring training schedule Saturday with a 7-4 loss to the Twins at JetBlue Park.
Mike Napoli sparked the Sox with a home run, two-run double and two runs scored.
Boston right-hander Jake Peavy had a solid outing is in his final spring outing as he gave up one run on three hits while walking one and striking out three.
Adam Brett Walker II hit a two-run homer for the Twins and Josh Willingham added a solo shot.
The Red Sox finished with an 11-17 spring record, 3-3 against the Twins, their Lee County rival.