Chicago Cubs to meet with Jon Lester next week at Wrigley


Free agent pitcher Jon Lester will reportedly meet with the Chicago Cubs early next week. According to Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago, the left-hander will visit Wrigley Field for a formal meeting with Cubs management and owner Tom Ricketts.

Lester, 30, split last season with the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics. In total, he finished with a 16-11 record to go along with a 2.46 ERA and 220 strikeouts, although his disappointing performance in the American League Wild Card game loomed large once the season concluded.

Of all the pitchers on the Cubs radar, Lester is without a doubt the number one priority. As one of the top pitchers on the free agent market, plenty of teams are vying for his services so it will likely take upwards of $20 million a year to woo him into signing with the Cubs.

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One of the biggest advantages for the Cubs throughout this process is the relationship between Lester and Cubs president of baseball operations  Theo Epstein. The lefty pitched for the Red Sox while Epstein was the general manager in Boston, so this should bode well for their chances as money shouldn’t be much of an issue this offseason.

The addition of Lester would only be the start of things to come. With Chicago quickly becoming a potential landing spot for many other high-level free agents, it isn’t far-fetched to believe that brighter days are ahead. During the GM meetings, Epstein summed it up perfectly.

"“It’s probably the first time agents can come into our suite without having to look both ways to make sure no one sees them coming in,” Epstein said. “We’re no longer the runt of the litter, I guess.”"

With two solid pitchers in Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks already in place in the rotation, the Cubs appear to be in the ideal situation to compete for a playoff spot and possibly a division title next season. And with cautious optimism, fans can expect their soon to be, new and improved Cubs to play with a quiet confidence, a competitive attitude; and in the words of former manager Lou Piniella, a “Cubbie swagger.”