Brian Hines (@BringLesterBack)
What the heck is going on with Jon Lester? Thats the big question right now as almost all of free agency depends on him. A decision will be made sooner rather than later for Lester. But where do we stand currently? Let's take a quick look.
With the news that the LA Dodgers are out of the Lester hunt, we are down to three teams. The Cubs, Giants and of course the Red Sox. Three teams that could all use his talents. The offers from these teams are currently unknown at the moment, as each team is quickly bidding higher and higher to land the ace. The minimum reported deal between the teams is 6 years for $150 million dollars. A high price for the talented lefty, a price that could eventually hit the 7 years, $175 million mark.
Source: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America)
As the Cubs has seemed like the longtime favorite, the Giants are currently expressing more and more interest and becoming very appealing to Lester. Their meeting with Lester went very well and he became very interested. But you can't count out the Sox still. They are trying very hardly to acquire Lester and are still making meetings with him. Their are reported to meet with him tonight in Atlanta for their final pitch.
The Sox certainly won't go to the 7 year, $175 million dollars like the Giants and Cubs might, but they can certainly offer Lester a lot. They have great chance of competing next season and could compete in the playoffs with him leading their rotation. Don't forget that Lester and his family fell in love with Boston in his time here, something that could persuade him to accept the lower money deal to return.
Now if we miss out on Lester, Cherington is ready. He and the front office have 15-20 pitchers they have their eyes on through the trade market or through free agency. They already offered Justin Masterson a one year deal, a guy who could be a valuable three guy in our rotation. Cherington has many other offers with pitchers and teams that will either be withdrawn or accepted once Lester's decision is made. So pretty much expect a lot from the Red Sox after Lester's news, especially if he chooses San Fran or Chicago.
With Lester's agent working hard to get the most money, the earliest decision might be late, late tonight. If the decision does not come tonight, expect the big news to come out for tomorrow, and then free agency will explode.
Have any questions or comments? Let me know on twitter @BringLesterBack or leave a comment below.