Jon Lester willing to take discount to extend career with Red Sox

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Jon Lester laughed out loud when asked Thursday if he had taken notice of the lucrative contracts landed by fellow starting pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Masahiro Tanaka this offseason.

“It’s hard not to pay attention to it,” the Red Sox lefthander said.

The Dodgers retained Kershaw this month with a seven-year extension worth $215 million. On Wednesday, the Yankees invested $155 million to sign Tanaka for seven seasons.

Lester, who is signed through the end of the 2014 season, is one the pitchers next in line for a new contract. He hopes to start negotiations with the Red Sox in spring training and acknowledged he would take a discount to continue his career in Boston.

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