MLB Rumors: Lester Nearing Decision, Four Teams In Mix

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m. PT): Alex Pavlovic of the Bay Area News Group was the first to report Jon Lester had eliminated the San Francisco Giants from consideration:

Shortly after, Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reported the Dodgers were also no longer involved:

With the Dodgers and Giants no longer under consideration, the final two teams remaining in the Lester sweepstakes are the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs.

UPDATE (Dec. 8, 1:40 p.m. PT): According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Jon Lester is expected to choose between the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants:

However, Rob Bradford of says Lester’s agent refuted the notion of Lester being down to the Cubs and Giants:


The free agent market for starting pitchers has essentially been frozen as Jon Lester continues to ponder his future. Although Max Scherzer and James Shields are also available, the interest in either of the right-hander’s hasn’t equaled that of Lester’s.

On the eve of Winter Meetings beginning, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported Lester’s group of suitors still includes the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants:

Although just one day into the meetings, Lester has been courted over the last several weeks and is nearing a decision, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney:

The Dodgers were a late arrival to the Lester sweepstakes and it led to some believing they would simply outbid their competition. However, they’ve thus far refrained from simply throwing money at players as they passed on four years for Andrew Miller and $15 million over three years for Zach Duke.

Lester is coming off one of his better seasons as he posted 16 wins, which was his highest total since 2010, and a career-bests in WHIP (1.10) and ERA (2.46). Of the group of three elite pitchers, Lester’s attractiveness is furthered by the fact that he won’t cost a team their first-round draft pick by virtue of turning down a qualifying offer.

If the Dodgers are lose out on Lester, it doesn’t appear likely they would pursue Scherzer or Shields, which could lead to a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies for Cole Hamels coming to fruition.


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