The Chicago Cubs were blessed to be an outstanding baseball team for most of the 2010s. They had elite players all over the place which helped them make multiple postseason runs, including a World Series title in 2016. One of the biggest reason’s for the franchise’s turnaround is Jon Lester’s arrival.
Bringing him in showed that the Cubs declared their rebuild over and were very serious about winning. All Lester did before coming to the Cubs was win. That continued with the Cubs as he was one of their ace pitchers for a long time.
On Wednesday, Jon Lester announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. It was an outstanding career for him as he played in the league for 16 years. Throughout those 16 years, he spent time with the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Oakland A’s, Washington Nationals, and St. Louis Cardinals. Of course, the big bulk came with Boston (parts of nine seasons) and Chicago (six seasons).
He finished his career with a record of 200-117. He had a career ERA of 3.66 to go with a WHIP of 1.278 and 2488 strikeouts in 452 games. All of this accumulated a career WAR of 44.2. Lester had a no-hitter in 2008 and was an all-star five times. Regular season baseball was very kind to him.
Jon Lester was an amazing player for the Chicago Cubs both on and off the field.
Lester was known for being great in the regular season and then elevating his game even further in the postseason. He made 26 postseason appearances where he had an ERA of 2.51. Getting considerably better in the playoffs is incredibly hard, especially when you are a borderline Hall of Famer in the regular season. It is no surprise that he is a three-time World Series champion.
The Cubs were very lucky to have landed Lester in the second half of his career. He was an extremely important piece to the team that ended a 108 year long World Series drought. He is the greatest free-agent signing in the history of the franchise.
Outside of Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks, he is also probably the greatest free-agent signing in the history of men’s pro sports in Chicago. It was a sensational run and he deserves lots of recognition in retirement. We aren’t sure if he will remain in baseball but don’t be surprised if he does.