The Boston Red Sox are hoping to finish up extensions with two of their most-prized veterans before Opening Day, as multiple reports are indicating the team is close to agreements with David Ortiz and Jon Lester.
According to Dan Roche of WBZ-TV in Boston, the Red Sox and Ortiz are nearing a one-year extension that would be between $14 and $16 million. Ortiz is in the final season of a two-year deal that will pay him $13 million in 2014.
Lester, meanwhile, has been in discussions with the Red Sox about a potential extension, though according to WEEI's Rob Bradford, nothing is imminent at this point. Any potential financial terms being discussed between Lester and the Red Sox are unknown, though the left-hander has indicated he would take at least a slight discount to stay in Boston.
The 30-year-old Lester is coming off a strong campaign in which he helped lead the Red Sox to a World Series victory. He finished with a 3.75 ERA and 2.6 more strikeouts than walks in 2014, while also posting a 1.56 ERA in five postseason starts. Lester has thrown at least 190 innings in every season dating back to 2008.
News of an impending deal with Ortiz comes off the back of an offseason in which the designated hitter was again outspoken in his desire for an extension from the Red Sox. Despite turning 38 in November, the Dominican Republic native hasn't seen his production tail off at all in recent seasons. He batted .309/.395/.564 for Boston in 2014, belting 30 home runs and compiling 103 RBI in the process. Ortiz has hit at least 23 home runs in every season since signing with the Red Sox back in 2003 and has hit 373 home runs total during his 11 seasons in Boston.
Asked about news of a potential extension on Thursday, Ortiz told ESPNBoston's Gordon Edes, "I don't know. I got to see some people, take some pictures and sign autographs."
Although nothing has been announced yet, the Red Sox expect to have reached a resolution on any potential talks with Ortiz and Lester before Opening Day arrives.