Over the Monster has learned through multiple league sources of a growing sense in the industry that Jon Lester is leaning towards signing with the Cubs. Sources have indicated that the Cubs are making a hard push to sign Lester and the two sides are deeply entrenched in conversation. A final decision will likely come on Tuesday or Wednesday from Lester's camp.
The pitching market should fully awaken after Jon Lester decides where he will be playing for the foreseeable future. A report from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports stated on Monday that Lester was choosing between the Cubs and the Giants. WEEI's Rob Bradford spoke to Lester's agent, who denied the report, while further reports mentioned the Red Sox still had to meet with Lester in San Diego. Since then, there has been a holding pattern waiting for Lester's decision, with the perceived favorite and the offers from all four interested clubs the only things changing.
San Francisco assistant general manager Bobby Evans told Jim Bowden on Sirius XM that they believe that the Red Sox and Cubs are ahead of them and the Dodgers in the pursuit of Lester, saying that Lester will not be taking the top dollar on the market and is instead following his "heart strings" to his destinations. This likely means the seven-year, $175 million offer reported by Ken Rosenthal on Monday night won't matter to Lester if it's not coming from the right team. Whether this decision means a reunion with Boston and the Red Sox or the chance to reunite with Theo Epstein and Co. in Chicago, where he can attempt to be the ace of the team that finally brings a World Series to the north side, remains to be seen.