Chicago Cubs: Pressure is on Jon Lester when the season starts

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

If and when we get the 2020 MLB season underway Chicago Cubs starter, Jon Lester will be looking to prove that he still has “it.”

The Cubs have had a great run over the last five seasons. There any many things you could point to for the success the team has had during that time. Theo Epstein drafting the core group, getting Joe Maddon, one I think we all can agree on is the Cubs signing Jon Lester before the 2015 season. When the Cubs made that deal for Lester, you could start to see things change on the North Side. It showed the rest of the league that the Cubs were on there way.

Lester signed a six-year, $155 million deal in back in 2015. I would say that deal has worked out great for the Cubs and Lester. From winning Co-MVP of the 2016 NLCS with Javier Baez to winning game 5 of the 2016 World Series and then pitching three huge innings in Game 7, Lester was everything you could have asked for out of your ace in the 2016 playoffs.

In five seasons so far with the Cubs, Lester has been great. Posting a 3.54 ERA in 159 games. But age has seemed like it might be catching up with the big left-hander. In 2019 Lester struggled for most of the season. He led the league in hits allowed with 205 and had a 4.46 ERA in 2019. In his last 11 starts of 2019, it was even worse, Lesters ERA was 6.09.

Now it’s a challenge for Lester to prove that it was just one bad season and not age catching up with him. Derek Jeter once said, “once you reach your 30s and you have a down year, everyone assumes you’re just old.” That will be the challenge facing Lester when the baseball season gets underway.

There will be a lot riding on this season for Lester because the Cubs do have a $25 million option for Lester’s contract for the 2021 season. Now I don’t see the Cubs using that no matter what happens this season, but this season will loom large for Lester for future contracts.

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If and when we get baseball back, if Lester can get somewhat back to his old way’s he could find himself with more opportunity for a job in the future.

Now I hope Lester comes out a show’s that he’s still got it this season and he can still play. Hopefully, we will see him in a Cubs uniform next season.