Cubs Staying in Communication with Jon Lester's Agents

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Cubs Staying in Communication with Jon Lester’s Agents

Chicago Cubs

Six years ago today – in the wee hours of the morning, to be precise – we finally got word.

The Chicago Cubs had landed Jon Lester.

It was absolutely wild at the time, not only because the Cubs were fresh off yet another losing season and a guy like Lester was going to have his pick of several teams at a very healthy price tag. The Cubs were going to be major players going forward, and they’d landed one of the biggest fish in years. Six years and $155 million. That was a serious contract.

Six years later, Lester is beloved, the contract is expired, and he has returned to free agency for just the second time in his career.

As we’ve discussed, Lester and the Cubs each generally leave the door open for a reunion, given that the need for starting depth remains and Lester could very easily be a capable back-end starter again in 2021. He also doesn’t project to get a particularly substantial contract this time around.

But the Cubs aren’t really do anything on the addition side of the ledger right now, what without a set baseball budget. So when asked about the situation, Jed Hoyer today told The Athletic that, yes, the lines of communication remain open, but nothing can be done at the moment.

“We’ve been very consistent in our communication with his representatives,” Hoyer said. “If things could work out, we’d love to have him back. We have to figure some things out first. That kind of goes without saying, because otherwise, something would be done by now. There are some things we want to work through first. What he’s done for us is amazing. Certainly, we’re not ready to close that door. We have been talking to ACES (Lester’s agents) a lot about that.”

Communication with the agents is always a nice sign, and it tracks with what Hoyer told NBC about the kinds of conversations the Cubs are able to have right now – hypothetical and alternative, depending on the state of the budget, say, next month.

Until things would get serious elsewhere on Lester, I think we can safely keep him on the radar for a possible return. The Cubs might prefer to find an upside play if they can find that fits the budget – they have innings available to offer, and they might prefer to take a chance on a riskier, but younger, option that could emerge as a multi-year arm – but you could do a lot worse than having Lester back for another year as a stabilizing presence. What he brings to the Cubs is unquestionably more than just innings, and, with all love and respect, he figures to still be on the market when his tier of free agency starts to sort itself out in the coming weeks and months.

 

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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.