By Edward McDonald
The Chicago Cubs are the talk of the baseball world after signing free agent pitcher Jon Lester to a 6 year, $155 million deal. Lester, who was the Ace of the Boston Red Sox, was traded from the Sox to the Oakland Athletics at the trade deadline this past season. Many around the league thought it was almost a sure thing Lester would return to Bean Town, but that isn’t the case. Lester and Cubs’ General Manager Theo Epstein are reunited as Epstein used to have the same position in Boston.
The Cubs outbid the Red Sox, who offered Lester 6 years for $135 million. A key to this was the Red Sox “low-balling” Lester last winter offering him $70 million over four years. Many feel that if the Sox would have offered Lester somewhere around $100 million, he would have come back. That wasn’t the case and now Lester – who is 31 years old – is with the Cubs in hopes to win a World Series for the first time in over 100 years.
Chicago made another big splash this offseason as it signed former Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon to the same position. Maddon was able to take the Rays on deep playoff runs with very little money to spend. Now he has the necessary money and farm system to try and do the same for the Cubs.
Lester enjoyed much success in Boston as he piled up a record of 110-63 and helped the Red Sox win two World Series. Speaking of the World Series, Lester is 3-0 in World Series games and 6-4 overall in the postseason. If Maddon can lead the Cubs to the playoffs, Lester will be relied on heavily to help them get to and win the World Series.
As a Boston Red Sox fan, so last summer I was shocked and disappointed Lester was traded to Oakland. I was one of many who thought it was a sure thing he would return after the season and finish his career in Boston, but business is business. I would like to thank Lester for a great run in Boston and wish him nothing but the best with the Cubs.