Talking with the Boston Herald on Tuesday before the Oakland A's, his new team, faced the Royals in Kansas City, Lester said it's nice not to be bombarded with contract questions anymore, but there was no hint of animosity toward Boston.
In fact, a return to the Red Sox clearly hasn't been ruled out.
"My time there, the memories and all that stuff don't get erased based on this whole ordeal," Lester told the Herald. "I'm glad with where I'm at, and I understood where [Red Sox GM] Ben [Cherington] was at. At the end of the season, it's not going to change my mind about going back there if they are aggressive and competitive and do the things they say they're going to do. Boston is definitely a place I would go."
The Red Sox told Lester that they would pursue him "aggressively" in the offseason. What that actually means, however, remains to be seen.
"They told me, 'We're going to be aggressive. You're going to get blown out of the water by some of these [other] offers,'" Lester said. "I'm like, 'I don't need to be blown out of the water.' Why would I need to be blown out of the water? That doesn't make or break your decision, at least for me. I'm not going to the highest bidder. I'm going to the place that makes me and my family happy. If that's Boston, it's Boston."
Lester insists he's not out for a top-dollar contract.
"In the greater scheme of things, we're talking about just a stupid amount of money," he said. "For me, I want to be comfortable. The way I look at it is, if someone gives you $170 million and someone gives you $150 million, is that $20 million really going to change your lifestyle? Same thing if the highest bidder is $100 million and the team you're going to feel most comfortable with offers $80 million. Is that $20 million really going to make the difference in your lifestyle?"