Jon Lester's Dominance and Contract, the Sculpture, Streaming News, and Other Bullets

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Jon Lester’s Dominance and Contract, the Sculpture, Streaming News, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I was readjusting my blankets in the middle of the night – the kind of thing you probably do several times and never remember – when I had an accident. Specifically, I pulled the blanked up too hard, it must have been caught on something, my hand slipped off, and I literally punched myself in the face.

You know how people joke about being upset at something and they just want to punch themselves in the face? Turns out: it hurts. I’ve got a little knot on my left eyebrow. (But you should see the other guy.)

  • It really sucks that Jon Lester was firing on all cylinders by the time the postseason came around and the Cubs got only one start (a Wild Card Game they lost) out of him this year:

  • For all the (justifiable) concern about Lester’s first half peripherals last year, he not only put up a 1.71 ERA in his final eight starts, but he also managed a good 23.2% K rate, a good 6.3% BB rate, a fantastic 23.1% hard contact rate, and a ridiculous 27.6% soft contact rate. And then he was great in the Wild Card Game. The dude was absurd for the final month and a half of the season. Lester turns 35 next year, and, although you can’t count on a pitcher of his age continuing a stretch like that, you just can’t bet against a guy like Lester continuing to find a way to be a successful starter.
  • Lester has two more years left on his deal with the Cubs – a deal that has been a huge win, regardless of what happens in 2019 and 2020 – and then a club option worth $25 million in 2021. Before you assume that option will never matter, there are two considerations: (1) the buyout on that option is a whopping $10 million, so the actual decision for the Cubs is just $15 million – it’s not inconceivable that Lester could be worth $15 million in 2021; and (2) Lester’s option becomes guaranteed if he throws 200 innings in 2020 or 400 innings combined between 2019 and 2020. Lester has been right around the 180 inning mark the last two years, but before that, he hit the 200 inning mark every single season in his career except one (191.2 in 2011). The guy gets his innings.
  • Also, random reminder that Lester has a “grenade” floating around in his elbow, which has still never actually been a problem. Maybe it never will be.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • Doug Glanville reminds folks just how bad things used to be:

  • For whatever reason, this reads to me as a “please clap” situation:

  • You monster:

  • OK, we’ll take it:

  • Well there’s just no way this could go horribly, horribly wrong:

  • Maybe don’t follow their lead for the video boards at Wrigley Field, Cubs.
  • Of note when considering future Cubs TV channel options:

  • That’s a national broadcast player partnering with a team-owned RSN to build out their streaming solution (including in-market). In other words, MLB is very likely still intent on staying in the you-must-buy-a-local-cable-subscription-to-stream model.
  • More ridiculousness in my world:

Author: Brett Taylor

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