The San Francisco giants are out of the race for Jon Lester's services, with Alex Pavlovic reporting that Lester (or at least his representation) called them with the bad news.
Bad news for the Giants, however, is good news not only for the Red Sox, but for all the fans who have been waiting for Lester to make his decision. What was supposed to be done before the beginning of the Winter Meetings stretched through Monday night and now late into Tuesday. But with one of the major players finally being conclusively eliminated, it seems as though this saga may soon be coming to an end.
On the other hand, the Giants always seemed like second-tier contenders in this race. They did not have the personal connections to Lester that the Cubs and Red Sox have, and could also not compete with the financial weight of the Dodgers, while still struggling with the same California tax issues. Personal meetings with Buster Posey can only do so much in the end.
Still, if Lester is eliminating teams, that likely means he's no longer interested in having clubs bargain back and forth. The offers are in, and it's down to Lester to choose one. There's no official word on the Dodgers yet, either, but given that Lester is apparently not interested in the rumored 7-year, $175 million deal that's on the table from one team or another, it's pretty easy to infer that they're out of the running as well.
UPDATE: Here's some fairly official word on the Dodgers confirming that.
Source: #Dodgers not in on Jon Lester.— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) December 10, 2014
It seems like this saga is finally coming to a close. Stay tuned if it hasn't broken you yet or, if you're inclined to take the wiser route, get some sleep and wake up to (hopefully) an answer.