[bing_translator]San Diego– The Jon Lester sweepstakes ended quickly last night. The winner: the Chicago Cubs. Hours after Lester crossed the San Francisco Giants off of his list, Yahoo Sports Jeff Passan reported that Lester had agreed to a six year, $155 million dollar deal. According to Passan, the Cubs landed Lester’s services by outbidding the Boston Red Sox, the favorites to sign Lester, by $20 million.
Lester was solid for the Red Sox and Oakland Athletics in 2014. The left hander finished 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA with 220 strikeouts. Lester was a solid pick up for the A’s in the Yoenis Cespedes trade. Lester was the Athletics most consistent pitcher down the stretch of the regular season. Oakland went from the best team in baseball to a wild card finish. Lester pitched a no decision in the Wild Card Playoff loss to the eventual American League champion Kansas City Royals.
The deal gives Chicago a solid ace come opening day and General Manager Theo Epstein made a move that would help bring the 31-year-old lefty into the fold.
Along with Lester, new manager Joe Maddon also received the catcher who Lester will be pitching to come opening day. The Cubs acquired catcher Miguel Montero from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Jeferson Mejia and Zack Godley. The two low-level arms are the only two the Cubs have given up in what has been a complete roster overhaul in Chicago. Including the resigning of pitcher Jason Hammel, who the Athletics gave the Cubs number one prospect and possible starting Shortstop Addison Russell.
With the moves being made the Cubs look ready to finally bring a winner to Wrigley Field. Epstein is finally showing Cubs fans why he was brought in as the President of Baseball operations in 2011. With two talented starting pitchers, a new manager, and a young but talented line up, the Cubs look to breakthrough in 2015 and compete in what will be an always stacked National League central division.
Look for the Cubs to continue to bring in talent as they have gone all in without giving up much on a farm system that is loaded with young talent. The expectations of winning the Cubs first World Series since 1908 have reached heights never seen. It shows the fans that Theo Epstein wants to win and he wants to win now.