Rolling Updates on Jon Lester, Who May Decide Tonight (UPDATES: Giants Out)

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Rolling Updates on Jon Lester, Who May Decide Tonight (UPDATES: Giants Out)

Chicago Cubs Rumors, MLB News and Rumors

[This is now just a rolling update post, see below for a chronological set of updates.]

I’m busily trying to write up the official Miguel Montero trade piece – not that it’s official just yet (UPDATE: Here’s the trade piece for now) – but this is too much not to share. San Francisco Giants Assistant GM Bobby Evans was just on the radio with Jim Bowden, and what he revealed is pretty illuminating:

I read that middle one, by the way, to be that Lester indicated he won’t *solely* be going to the highest bidder, not that he’s expressly avoiding going to the highest bidder.

Not to get too excited – remember, no peaks and valleys today – but if you read this in conjunction with Ken Rosenthal’s recently repeated stance that Lester would choose from among the Cubs and Giants, and, well …

That said, it’s hard to rule the Red Sox out. Or even the Giants just yet. I suppose when an official of a team says publicly that he doesn’t think his team is getting the player, well, then that team is probably not getting the player.

Evans didn’t expressly rule the Giants out, by the way, but it doesn’t sound good for them:

UPDATE (4:40pm CT): Brian Sabean, Evans’ boss, was quick to tell Nick Cafardo that he thinks the Giants are very much still in it. I’m not sure what to make of that, but here’s an explanation for Evans’ comments:

Stark later added this:

I think that sounds like the earlier report from Ken Rosenthal that we deduced was probably the Dodgers.

UPDATE 2 (4:50pm CT): Although we’ve already talked about it, I like seeing this put out there from Rosenthal:

It suggests that that particular financial issues has already been discussed and is coming into play. It favors the Cubs – especially given that the Illinois income tax rate is scheduled to fall even further on January 1.

UPDATE 3 (6:17pm CT): Buster Olney reports that the Lester pursuit is “nearing the finish line.” He should soon have final offers in hand, and there is a “reasonable belief” that the choice will be made tonight.

UPDATE 4 (6:22pm CT): For the record, yes, I’m aware of all of the insidery scuttlebutt out there that points to Lester going to the Cubs. As I have not personally heard anything like that yet, and I can’t vouch for the specific sources saying things, I’m choosing not to endorse it here. I’m sure if we dug hard enough, we could find some insidery scuttlebutt pointing to the Red Sox, too.

UPDATE 5 (6:36pm CT): I am equally annoyed and honored. There’s a fake me out there spreading a bogus rumor:

I know that looks like me, but the “L” in the handle is actually a capital I. The person even made the entire account look just like mine. Neat.

UPDATE 6 (6:47pm CT): Nick Cafardo says the Cubs, Red Sox, and Giants are giving Lester a decision-making time. So we’re reaching the end.

UPDATE 7 (6:57pm CT): Dave Kaplan hears from two MLB sources that the Cubs lead for Lester (and that the Cubs are meeting with David Ross tonight). And Theo Epstein speaks:

UPDATE 8 (7:28pm CT): I didn’t catch the spot, but allegedly Peter Gammons just said on MLBN that he thinks Red Sox ownership is headed to Atlanta to meet with Lester in person for a third time. You know they aren’t going down there just to concede, so this may be a last ditch effort. The last visit reportedly “moved the needle,” so hopefully this won’t have the same effect. I can already read the annoying stories about how they flew down to save the day or some such thing.

UPDATE 9 (7:32pm CT): In a sick, twisted way, I love that the twists and turns keep coming:

UPDATE 10 (8:37pm CT): Thanks to everyone for participating in the very fun, and only slightly ill-timed live stream. During the stream, Jon Lester reportedly (multiple reports) called the Giants to let them know they were out. So it sounds like this is down to the Cubs and Red Sox.

UPDATE 11 (8:46pm CT): Another reminder that this probably wasn’t 100% about the money, and was probably always going to come down to the Red Sox and the Cubs:

If that’s the case, it does make me a little nervous that the Red Sox’s owners are reportedly headed to Atlanta to meet with Lester tonight. You just never know what can happen in those situations.

UPDATE 12 (9:07pm CT): We already presumed it, but just to confirm, Dylan Hernandez hears that the Dodgers are not being considered.

UPDATE 13 (9:18pm CT): Chris Cotillo pretty much sums up exactly how this thing has felt for the past few hours or so:

UPDATE 14 (9:34pm CT): Joel Sherman reports that the Cubs haven’t been told one way or another yet, which could mean Lester is still thinking, or it could mean he’s waiting until this meeting with Red Sox ownership (if it’s real) happens. That could also mean that we don’t hear a decision tonight.

UPDATE 15 (9:38pm CT): I thought I heard that I missed this during the live stream:

Does that mean that the Cubs have reps going to Atlanta to meet, literally, with Lester tonight? Or does it mean that the Cubs are meeting with Lester’s agents in San Diego tonight (which you would have expected)? Probably the latter.

UPDATE 16 (10:01pm CT): Andy Martino writes about the situation, and it has the same tenor as much of what we’re hearing elsewhere: major league sources suggest the Cubs have the inside track, but this thing isn’t over, and we might not hear tonight.


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.