As is tradition, #CubsTwitter had a bit of a freakout earlier this week, when Jon Lester made some attention grabbing comments about (being open to) finishing his career back in Boston, where it all started. Naturally, I kept a cool head about the whole ordeal and did nothing to fan the flames of concern.
Nothing at all.
READ MORE: Jon Lester Says He’s Open to Returning to the Red Sox (But Dang It, Let Him Retire with the Cubs) – by Michael Cerami
Jokes aside, he said what he said and I believe he meant it. I have little doubt Lester wouldn’t mind returning to Boston to finish out his career, and as a $15M decision for the Cubs ($25M total for 2021), it’s not as though it’s as simple as moving some figures around – perhaps especially after the revenue losses this partial, potentially fan-less season is sure to incure. Basically, what I’m trying to say is I wouldn’t blame Lester for wanting to return “home,” and I wouldn’t blame the Cubs for allowing him to do so.
Buuuut maybe we shouldn’t have taken his comments so seriously.
In the inaugural episode of The General Admission podcast with Cubs broadcasters Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies, Lester addressed this topic, and I think you’ll want to hear what he had to say:
Obviously, in my situation there is a lot of uncertainty about next year with the option …. Obviously, I would love to be a Chicago Cub until the end. And hopefully, there’s some room … I wanna play again next year and hopefully, it’s with the Chicago Cubs uniform on.
For me, it needs to be … I would really like to just stay here and finish it out and not have anymore change. And really just kinda think about the two jerseys … [that] are significant for me. And I would like to finish that out and maybe hopefully bring another World Series here.
Well, there you have it.
Jon Lester clearly doesn’t want to close any doors on the future – he says so explicitly throughout the episode – but it sounds to me like his preference would be playing out his contract in Chicago, including the 2021 season (which, again, is not wholly up to him), before reassessing whatever comes next after that.
For me, for now, that’s enough.