David Ortiz on Jon Lester: 'He's a keeper'

July 28, 2014 - 1:43 pm
David Ortiz is aware of the reality of the Red Sox'€™ situation at the trade deadline. With rumors swirling about what players may or may not remain in Red Sox uniforms by 4 p.m. Thursday, Ortiz maintains that he believes the club should hang on to one of their biggest assets. Jon Lester'€™s name has understandably come up in trade rumors recently, with the left-hander approaching free agency and the Red Sox sinking deeper in the AL East standings by the day. But Ortiz has confidence that his long-time teammate will still be his teammate in 2015. "€œ[Lester is] a good player and I still believe at some point [he and the Red Sox] are going to get to an agreement," Ortiz said Monday. Ortiz, who has shared a field with Lester since Lester made his debut in 2006, expressed his confusion over the prospect of dealing away the rotation'€™s ace. "He'€™s one of the best pitchers in the game...you definitely want to rebuild around a guy like him. He brings everything to the table every time he takes the mound, he takes his job very seriously," Ortiz said. "I don'€™t know where [the rumor] comes from...it might come from the front office or whatever, but when you'€™re planning on trading that type of a player, you must be getting half a team from some other place. '€œHe'€™s very valuable to this ball club, he'€™s won a couple World Series, and you can'€™t ask the guy for [anything] more than what he has done. He'€™s in his prime." Regardless, Ortiz understands that this kind of speculation is part of the game around this point in the season.

"By this time, the trade talk is always out there. Sometimes it can be a little frustrating because some of your own teammates are going to be moved at some point,"€ Ortiz said. "At the same time, it'€™s the kind of situation you'€™ve got to deal with."

But as the deadline looms closer, Ortiz hopes that come Thursday night, Lester will still be in a Red Sox uniform.

"This is a tough market, and you have a guy that throughout his career playing here he'€™s been able to do what he'€™s done, he'€™s a keeper," Ortiz said. "We'€™ll see what happens."