Jon Lester agrees to sign with Cubs
Jon Lester has made his free agency decision and will be signing with the Chicago Cubs.
Lester and the Cubs have agreed on a six-year, $155 million deal, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. Passan says the Red Sox were second in the bidding for Lester after offering the southpaw six years for $135 million.
The Red Sox and Cubs were the finalists for Lester’s services. Lester informed the Giants earlier in the day that he would not be signing with them. The Dodgers were also serious candidates for his services and reportedly offered a similar contract to the Cubs.
The Giants reportedly offered six years for $150 million, and what’s notable is that Passan reports the Giants were willing to go to seven years and $168 million if Lester wanted a seventh year. Perhaps the pitcher felt that making more in annual value was worth it to choose Chicago.
The contract gives Lester, 31, the third-highest annual value for a pitcher in history.
This is a major move for the Cubs and signifies they are ready to compete. In addition to big leaguers Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs have one of the richest farm systems in the game. Prospects Kris Bryant, Javy Baez, Jorge Soler, Addison Russell, Arismendy Alcantara, Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora could give the team one of the best lineups in the league for the next decade, so long as most of the players develop as planned.
Theo Epstein already worked miracles by breaking the Curse of the Bambino in Boston. He’s already making a ton of progress on breaking the Curse of the Billy Goat in Chicago.
Even Bryce Harper is impressed:
The Cubbies coming in hot! #MLB
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) December 10, 2014