The venerable Peter Gammons mentioned that there was a group of general managers that believed there was a mystery team in on Jon Lester in addition to the reported interest from the Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants and the Boston Red Sox. The mystery team appears to have been revealed.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are prepared to make a late run at Jon Lester according to a report from Rob Bradford and Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Bradford and Speier report that that the Dodgers have serious interest and are have the resources to make a "hard, late charge."
One industry source was under the impression that the Dodgers had already entered the bidding with an offer to Lester, while another characterized the Dodgers as poised to play a role similar to the one made by the Yankees in December 2008, when New York swooped in late to sign Mark Teixeira away from other interested bidders with a high bid of eight years and $180 million. A third noted of the Dodgers' potential interest that Lester "could help any team looking to win championships," the unquestioned bar for a Los Angeles team that is after its first title since 1988.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is familiar with Lester's work given the former's time as general manager of the Tampa Bay Rays. While the Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke atop their rotation, the depth that follows the top-two pitchers is less than desirable for a team expected to compete for a World Series title.
According to the WEEI.com report, a source told Bradford and Speier that they would be "shocked" if the Dodgers did not end up as the high bid in the sweepstakes. Lester is reportedly looking for a deal similar to the one Greinke received from the Dodgers, six years and $147 million. According to multiple reports, the Red Sox are willing to put at least $130 million on the table while the Cubs currently have a six year, $138 million deal on the table.
The free agent market for pitcher is expected move fast after Lester makes his decision.