jon lester feature red sox“The Decision.”

If I knew exactly when it was coming, I’d put up a countdown clock to the moment when Jon Lester chooses his next team so that we can all writhe around together in continuous panic until it reaches 0. The thought of wearing this fairly itchy sweater for the rest of the week has me feeling sadistic.

Speaking of nasty feelings, I’ll give voice to what you’ve probably been sensing if you’ve paid attention today: the bulk of the buzz on Lester last night and today has almost exclusively focused on the Red Sox and Giants. Does that mean the Cubs are out? Not necessarily. It might not mean anything. But, in these situations where there is a relatively known deadline on when a guy is going to choose, the rumors, taken in the aggregate, tend to be pretty accurate at winnowing down the field, even if the final “winner” isn’t revealed until the very end. Right now, the aggregate of rumors suggest it’s between the Red Sox and Giants.



Surprises do happen, though. And, if you’re looking for a small ray of sunshine, here’s something from Gordon Wittenmyer:



So, at least the effort is all still very legit.

And a decision is coming soon. Buster Olney says it’ll be by tonight at the earliest, and tomorrow at the latest. Rob Bradford says it’ll be tomorrow, and, interestingly, says that the delay is because the four teams’ interest (Cubs, Red Sox, Giants, and Dodgers) is “evolving.”

Sean McAdam just reported that he also hears the decision will come by tomorrow, and, more notably, that the hold-up is Lester’s agents waiting to see if any of the four teams will go to $150 million, presumably over six years. The offers are all currently around $140 million, says McAdam. I’m not sure how much stock I put in that, because it would be strange if such a small amount of money (relatively speaking) would totally make the difference for a guy like Lester. I also would find it strange that, if that was true, the Cubs weren’t jumping all over that.

A recent post by Buster Olney, however, could add a little credence to McAdam’s report, indicating that Lester’s agents are known for setting a price they deem fair, and then trying to get a team to come up to it (rather than accepting a team’s offer).

As for the teams, the Giants are getting more and more buzz:

There’s also a little Red Sox-related update from Gordon Edes, tied to Cole Hamels:

The timing there has to be a little related to Lester, right? Either maybe Boston applying some pressure to Lester to accept a lower deal, or maybe Boston recognizing they aren’t getting him (as Gammons’ tweet suggests)?



Ultimately, I’m sorry to say, it looks like the Giants and Red Sox are the most likely landing spots right now, and we may just have to wait for the decision and the contract to unpack it from there.

Obligatory closing optimism: nothing’s settled yet, and Nick Cafardo did report earlier that the Cubs were still theoretically planning to have a meeting with Lester’s agents today. Maybe that’s when they strike?




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