Cherington hopes to renew contract talks with Lester

Cherington hopes to renew contract talks with Lester

BALTIMORE -- Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington was taken aback on Tuesday when a media member asked him if he would consider trading Jon Lester if the Red Sox fall further out of contention.

Cherington's focus is still for the Red Sox to get back on track, and he hopes to renegotiate a new contract with Lester before the lefty gets to free agency at the end of the season.

"We haven't even thought about [trading Lester]," said Cherington. "Jon's focus is to go out and pitch every five days and help us win, and he's done a very good job of that this year. We're trying to support him in any way we can.

"Our position hasn't changed. We hope to have a conversation again about his contract. We'd love to find a way to keep him here. But right now we're just trying to win games and stay in this thing. I believe we will. When we do, we're going to want Jon Lester pitching for us down the stretch."

Though the All-Star break -- or thereabouts -- is particularly a time when the Red Sox talk to agents about extending their own players, Cherington didn't want to get into specifics.

"We don't have a plan, and we don't have a date," Cherington said. "I wouldn't read anything to it other than that it hasn't happened yet, and there's probably a time that makes sense for both parties, and we just haven't gotten to that."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.