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MLB free agency: Nationals, Jon Lester agree to one-year deal


The Washington Nationals have added a veteran southpaw with championship pedigree to the rotation. The Nationals have agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent lefty Jon Lester, pending physical, reports CBS Sports HQ reporter Jim Bowden. Financial terms are unknown. Washington has not yet confirmed the signing.

Lester, 37, struggled in 2020, throwing 61 innings with a 5.16 ERA with the Cubs. He has been a tick worse than league average the last two years, but did manage a 3.32 ERA in 181 2/3 innings as recently as 2018. If nothing else, Lester will take the ball every five days. He made at least 31 starts every year from 2008-19, plus another 12 in the 60-game 2020 season.

The Nationals will front their rotation with Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin and Stephen Strasburg. Lester will step in as the innings-eating No. 4 starter and push Joe Ross and Erick Fedde down a peg on the depth chart. Washington reportedly had interest in Corey Kluber before he signed with the Yankees late last week.

Lester is the second former Cub to join the Nationals this offseason. Washington signed Kyle Schwarber, who was non-tendered by Chicago last month, a few weeks ago. Schwarber and Josh Bell are the club's two big offensive additions this winter. The Nationals could still bring in an infielder, specifically a third baseman, as well as bullpen help.

Washington went 26-34 and finished in last place in the NL East last season. They are one year removed from winning the World Series, however, and with their top three starters making big money, and Juan Soto and Trea Turner still making below market value salaries and providing big production, it only makes sense to go for it in 2021.

Our R.J. Anderson did not rank Lester among the top 60 free agents available this offseason.


Source: MLB free agency: Nationals, Jon Lester agree to one-year deal

MLB free agency: Nationals, Jon Lester closing in on deal, per report


Jon Lester in a baseball uniform throwing a ball © Provided by CBS Sports

The Washington Nationals are close to adding a veteran southpaw with championship pedigree to the rotation. The Nationals are nearing a deal with free agent lefty Jon Lester, reports Russell Dorsey of the Chicago Sun-Times. Financial terms are unknown. Washington has not yet confirmed the trade.

Lester, 37, struggled in 2020, throwing 61 innings with a 5.16 ERA with the Cubs. He has been a tick worse than league average the last two years, but did manage a 3.32 ERA in 181 2/3 innings as recently as 2018. If nothing else, Lester will take the ball every five days. He made at least 31 starts every year from 2008-19, plus another 12 in the 60-game 2020 season.

The Nationals will of course front their rotation with Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin, and Stephen Strasburg. Lester could step in as the innings-eating No. 4 starter and push Joe Ross and Erick Fedde down a peg on the depth chart. Washington reportedly had interest in Corey Kluber before he signed with the Yankees late last week.

Lester could be the second former Cub to join the Nationals this offseason. Washington signed Kyle Schwarber, who was non-tendered by Chicago last month, a few weeks ago. Schwarber and Josh Bell are the club's two big offensive additions this winter. The Nationals could still bring in an infielder, specifically a third baseman, as well as bullpen help.

Washington went 26-34 and finished in last place in the NL East last season. They are one year removed from winning the World Series, however, and with their top three starters making big money, and Juan Soto and Trea Turner still making below market value salaries and providing big production, it only makes sense to go for it in 2021.

Our R.J. Anderson did not rank Lester among the top 60 free agents available this offseason.


Source: MLB free agency: Nationals, Jon Lester closing in on deal, per report

MLB rumors: Lester in talks with Nationals


Cubs

MLB rumors: Lester in talks with Nationals

Jon Lester and Kyle Schwarber are set to reunite in Washington DC.

Lester is finalizing a deal with the Nationals, NBC Sports Chicago confirmed Monday. The Athletic was the first to report talks between Lester and the Nats.

The Cubs declined the left-hander’s $25 million option in October, sending him into free agency. But they remained in contact with his representation.

“If things could work out, we’d love to have him back,” Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said last month.

According to sources, the Cubs did make Lester an offer after talks with the Nationals began, but it was not enough to lure him back to Chicago. The Cubs have at least one open rotation spot on their roster.

The team also parted ways with Schwarber this offseason, after non-tendering the outfielder's contract. Schwarber signed with the Nationals a week ago.

Lester spent six seasons in Chicago, and just as long as Schwarber’s teammate, after signing as a free agent ahead of the 2015 season. He grew emotional in mid-September after what may have been his last start at Wrigley Field as a Cub.

“To have an empty stadium,” Lester said then, “it's not really how I envisioned possibly my last start here. I'm not going to sit here and say, 'Woe is me,' but I didn't think six years would go this fast."

Gordon Wittenmyer contributed to the reporting of this story.


Source: MLB rumors: Lester in talks with Nationals



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