Many of you think that Jon Lester might be signed sometime this week. With what team is still up in the air, as Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that the Giants are making a strong bid for the free-agent lefthander:
The Giants are meeting with star free agent pitcher Jon Lester on Monday. However, after losing star third basman Pablo Sandoval to Lester's longtime Red Sox team, Giants people have been amazingly tight-lipped about this high-profile pursuit. Not much is known about the confab, but one source said Giants veteran pitcher Tim Hudson is one key to the Giants' recruitment of Lester, as the pair of Atlanta residents are said to be close. Ahmed Fareed of Comcast Bay Area reported that Giants manager Bruce Bochy is in Atlanta on Monday to do his part as well.
The closeness of Hudson and Lester might make a difference, and of course with losing Sandoval to the Red Sox the Giants clearly have some money available to spend. Will it be enough? Here's what Heyman says about the bids that are out there:
Sources suggest the Cubs have bid $138 million over six years for Lester, and the Red Sox suggested at least a willingness to go to $130 million for six years, while word is the Braves, Lester's current hometown team, bid somewhat lower than that. It's possible also that Chicago and Boston will go up from there, if they haven't already.
The article goes on to say that the Braves aren't likely to match either the Cubs' bid that's already been reported or the Red Sox' "suggestion," as Heyman puts it. The Giants, coming off their third World Series win in the last five seasons, certainly would seem to have enough money to pay Lester something in the range of what the Cubs and Red Sox already have bid, or "suggested." The Giants do have the cachet of having won those three World Series titles. The Red Sox have already won two with Lester, so he knows all about those. Without suggesting that it would be the only reason or the main reason to sign with the Cubs, the thought of perhaps being part of a group that leads the Cubs to that elusive World Series win might be tempting to Lester, presuming the money was more or less in the same ballpark.
I think the Cubs might do whatever it takes to sign Lester. I have no inside info to base this on, strictly a hunch that this time, Theo & Jed do want to make a splash in the 2015 free-agent market without strapping their ability to pay going forward. They were reportedly unhappy about losing Russell Martin, and while you don't sign someone else just because you missed out on target No. 1, Lester would certainly be a great fit for the Cubs' rotation in 2015 and beyond. We've discussed that part of it many times.
Anyway, I mostly just wanted to give you some updates and provide another place to talk about the Lester story today, so have at it.