Updated 04:48 PM EST, Tue, Jan 18, 2022

Chicago Cubs Likely to Pursue Jon Lester in MLB Free Agency This Offseason

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The Chicago Cubs are viewed as one of several teams pursuing Boston Red Sox ace pitcher Jon Lester, when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.

MLB insider Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported the dispute between Lester and the Red Sox in their contract extension talks. Boston reportedly offered a four-year deal worth roughly $80 million, but Lester decided to halt the negotiations until around October.

Reports indicated Lester might be seeking a lucrative, longterm deal that would secure the remaining years of his baseball career. Instead, the Red Sox made a lowball offer which could cost them their ace pitcher at the end of the regular season.

Needless to point out, the 31-year-old Lester will likely hit the open market soon if his contract disputes with the defending World Series champions won't get a resolution. Unfortunately for Red Sox fans, the Cubs and former general manager Theo Epstein will be right around the corner to snag Lester with a big deal this winter.

"It appears that Boston's lowball offer could make them lose their ace, as he is set to become a free agent this offseason. While countless teams will obviously be interested in Lester if he hits the open market, I think the Chicago Cubs would be near the top of that list," Schmelzer stated in his column.

Lester, who went 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA and 177 strikeouts last season, will be drawing interest from a number of big market teams and contenders. However, the presence of Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer and other former members of the Red Sox front office will be key in getting Lester off the market.

MLB followers felt the Cubs only need to fortify their pitching lineup in order to become a legit postseason contender. Chicago has one of the deepest farm systems in the league along with several young studs such as Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. However, the team doesn't have enough talent in their starting rotation - a deficiency that could be offset by Lester.

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