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Henry: Red Sox, Lester will talk contract after season

Boston's ace left-hander, who can be a free agent, had said he didn't want distractions

Henry: Red Sox, Lester will talk contract after season play video for Henry: Red Sox, Lester will talk contract after season

The Red Sox and starting pitcher Jon Lester have tabled contract negotiations until the offseason, principal owner John Henry told the Boston Herald late Wednesday.

Lester has put together a terrific season and is expected to be one of the most sought-after free agents in the offseason. The 30-year-old left-hander improved to 10-7 with a 2.50 ERA on Sunday, when he held the Royals scoreless over eight innings, striking out eight, walking two and yielding four hits. He was an All-Star this season for the third time in his career.

"I think Jon has handled this exceptionally well throughout the course of this entire season, so I don't see it changing anything," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

The Herald reported on Thursday that Henry said in an e-mail that the team has "agreed not to resume contract talks with its ace left-hander until the season is done." According to the report, Lester had previously said he didn't want the talks to be a distraction during the season.

"I'm not going to discuss Jon's situation out of respect for both Jon and [general manager] Ben [Cherington], other than to say that both sides have put further discussion off until after the season," Henry wrote in his e-mail to the Herald. "It's clear that both Jon and our organization would like to see Jon back next year if possible."

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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