San Diego CA (SportsNetwork.com) – We now know at least one team that won’t
be winning the Jon Lester sweepstakes.
Lester informed the World Series champion San Francisco Giants on Tuesday that
he would not be signing with the team. Giants assistant general manager Bobby
Evans told reporters that Lester called him and thanked the team for their
interest in him.
“We did not receive a rose,” Evans told the team’s beat reporters.
Presumably, Lester is now weighing offers from both the Chicago Cubs and the
Boston Red Sox which could be in excess of $150 million.
The 31-year-old left-hander, who spent the first eight-plus seasons of his
career in Boston, was in the midst of another magnificent season for the Red
Sox in 2014. But with the team out of contention and his pending free agent
status, Boston sent him to the Oakland Athletics at the non-waiver trade
deadline for slugger Yoenis Cespedes.
Oakland may have struggled after the trade, but Lester certainly wasn’t to
blame, as he went 6-4 with a 2.35 ERA and was a key reason why the Athletics
reached the American League Wild Card Game.
Overall, Lester was 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA last season.
However, he did not pitch well in the elimination contest against Kansas City,
with Lester rocked for six runs in 7 1/3 frames in the A’s loss to the Royals.
Despite the awful showing versus the Royals, Lester owns one of the most
impressive postseason resumes around, having gone 6-4 with a 2.57 ERA in 12
starts and two relief appearances in October. That includes two starts in the
2013 World Series in which he allowed one earned run in 15 1/3 innings.
Lester also is well-known for surviving a bout with lymphoma cancer during the
2006 and 2007 seasons, finishing off that latter campaign by pitching in the
Red Sox’ World Series-clinching win in Game 4 over the Colorado Rockies.
For his career, Lester has a regular-season record of 116-67 with a 3.58 ERA.