So as the Red Sox prepare to sign Lester for five years and $30 million, they will pay Beckett, Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, John Smoltz, Brad Penny and Clay Buchholz less than $36 million this season. Compare that figure with what the New York Yankees are paying two of their pitchers. If you include two $3 million bonuses CC Sabathia will receive during the 2009 season, Sabathia and A.J. Burnett will make $36.5 million. Boston has 2009 obligations to Beckett, Lester and Matsuzaka for $21 million.
What makes this comparison even better? I'd take Beckett, Lester, and Matsuzaka (let alone the other guys on this list) over Sabathia and Burnett (particularly Burnett) any day of the week.