The Oakland A’s traded for Jon Lester at the non-waiver trade deadline. They have him for the rest of this season and hope he helps them win a World Series just like he did with Boston.
Even though he is an Athletic now, don’t expect him to be one next season. He is in the final year of his contract, so he will command big money. The A’s are a team that doesn’t get in bidding wars for anyone. They are the inventors of Moneyball, getting key players at bargain prices.
There will be plenty of teams looking for top line pitching that will go after Lester. One of those teams resides in Chicago.
Look for the Chicago Cubs to go all in on Lester this offseason. They are ready to start contending seriously, and are in need of top line pitching.
Yes, Lester will be expensive. He is one of the top pitchers in major league baseball, posting a 113-63 record with a 3.63 ERA in nine seasons.
He is lights out in the postseason. Overall, in thirteen postseason games, he is 6-4 with a 2.11 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. In three World Series games, he is 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA and a 0.76 WHIP.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says that the Cubs are the favorites to land Lester in the offseason.
“Some of Lester’s former teammates meanwhile already project that he’ll end up with the Cubs this offseason, reuniting with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. The Cubs, by claiming Cole Hamels, showed that they have the money to make such a move happen.”
The fact that Hamels was owed four years and over $90 million showed that the Cubs are going hard after the top pitchers available, and the best of those pitchers is Lester. Having ties with Epstein and Hoyer certainly helps.
If the Cubs are able to land Lester and with an improved lineup, they can be the next breakout surprise next season that the Kansas City Royals are this season and the Pittsburgh Pirates were two seasons ago.