No surprise, but the Red Sox have exercised their 2014 option on lefty ace and organizational lifer Jon Lester (source: WEEI's Rob Bradford). Lester, 29, will make $13 million next season and be eligible for free agency the following winter. As such, don't be surprised if at least cursory extension talks begin soon.
This past season, Lester bounced back nicely from a disappointing 2012, as he pitched to a 1.09 ERA+ across 213 1/3 innings. Still, it's been since 2010 that he's pitched at an ace level and logged at least 200 innings. On the other hand, Lester would have been 2013 World Series MVP in a David Ortiz-less world.
Lester was originally a second-round draft pick by the Red Sox in 2002 out of Bellarmine High School in Tacoma, Wash.