According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs director of pro scouting was at The Cell on Tuesday night to watch Jon Lester’s start against the White Sox and multiple industry sources have told Patrick Mooney the Cubs “are targeting Jon Lester and will make a run at him this winter.”
The Cubs are “trying to set a foundation piece in the rebuild at Clark and Addison” according to Mooney’s report.
The Sun-Times and Ken Rosenthal reported last month that the Cubs were expected to target Jon Lester when the lefty hit the market at the end of the season. The rumors have picked up over the last 30 days that the front office will make a run at Lester and reports have even suggested Lester would sign with the Cubs.
As the report from Comcast SportsNet cautioned, just because the Cubs appear to be making Lester a priority that doesn’t mean another team will not sign him. The Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, and Rangers are just a few of the teams that will also be in the mix for Lester once he hits the market.
The Cubs connection to Jon Lester will be brought up time and time again until Lester either signs with the Cubs or another team. But Patrick Mooney reiterated several points that have previously been reported.
According to the report from Comcast SportsNet, Lester “is believed to be open-minded about his future” and he “has already won two World Series rings, which might make him a little more patient – as long as the money is right – while the Cubs try to piece together a perennial contender.”
Jon Lester checks several of the boxes for the Cubs according to the report. Lester is durable, knows how to pitch under the pressure of a big market for a team with expectations to win and he has a reputation of being a good teammate that could add veteran leadership to the clubhouse and the rotation. Plus, as Mooney pointed out, the team is “getting to a place where they can overpay for pitching and absorb declining seasons when someone like Lester reaches his mid-30s.”
For the season, Jon Lester is 14-10 in 29 starts for the Red Sox and A’s with a 2.52 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Lester has allowed 70 runs, 56 earned, on 177 hits with 42 walks, 199 strikeouts and a 2.81 FIP.
According to the report from Comcast SportsNet, Max Scherzer “is not believed to be interested in a rebuilding situation.” Add Patrick Mooney’s report with the facts Scherzer will be tied to draft pick compensation and Scott Boras will be looking for the biggest contract possible that could take the entire off-season to land and there just doesn’t appear to be a fit with the Cubs and Max Scherzer.
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