Chicago Cubs: Adding Jon Lester changed everything
After going 73-89 in 2014, the Cubs decided to turn the corner. That offseason, the club inked veteran left-hander Jon Lester to a six-year, $155 million deal with an option for 2021. He represented the key piece and leader the clubhouse needed – and the results showed.
He got off to a slow start in Chicago but quickly rounded into form. Lester went winless in his first four starts with an ERA north of 6.00, which got just about everyone clamoring in sheer panic. But as the team heated up behind eventual Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant and teammate Anthony Rizzo, Lester led the rotation.
In the month of May, he bounced back in a big way, pitching to a 1.76 earned run average in six starts, setting up a pattern of ups and downs that emanated throughout the entire campaign. But, when the dust settled, Lester played a key role in helping the Cubs advance to the NLCS for the first time since 2003.
And things were just getting started.