Free agent Jon Lester is in talks with the Nationals, reports MLB’s Ken Rosenthal.
Free-agent left-hander Jon Lester is in talks with the Nationals, sources tell me and @jon_greenberg.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 18, 2021
The 37-year old had a rough 2020 season with the Cubs, hurling a 5.16 ERA over 61 innings pitched and 42 strikeouts. However, this is only a few years removed from a very dominant, All-Star southpaw. As a 4th or 5th starter, Lester still shows some promising stuff. This would also be a reunion with former teammate Kyle Schwarber, bench coach Davey Martinez, and pitching coach Jim Hickey. A reunion of the four seems inevitable at this point.
While Lester didn’t leave the Cubs on a bad note, it has a lot of fans questioning why they haven’t resigned him yet. Chicago paid him the $10 million buyout the team owed him for 2021 after declining his $25M option. However, they have been very vocal that the door is still open for a deal. “If things could work out, we’d love to have him back,” Jed Hoyer, president of baseball operations, said last month.
There’s no word yet on what the Nationals might be offering him or the length of the contract, but given Lester’s age and the last two seasons many speculate that it could be a one-year deal with options for a second. More on this story as it develops.