BOSTON -- General manager Ben Cherington doesn't think the team's place in the standings will have much of an impact on how he views contract negotiations with Jon Lester.
"I don't think the team's performance can influence that much, our thinking on that type of decision we make," Cherington said. "We've had interest in signing him going back to the last offseason in March -- and we still do. I think everyone knows that. I think that process is guided by things we see, things he believes in, and it's a singular decision in a player. Certainly we think he can be part of making us good. So that's there."
Lester, coming off a spectacular 2013 postseason, is having a solid season, one that got him on to the American League All-Star team.
Cherington was noncommittal when asked if negotiations with Lester could pick up before the lefty reaches free agency.
"I can't say," Cherington said. "We're going to honor the commitment we made to not talk about it publicly. I think everyone knows what our interest is. I think he knows what our interest is. We're also trying to honor and respect his desire to not talk about it publicly and not let it be a distraction for him or the team."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.