According to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, the Giants are interested in signing Jon Lester to help out their rotation next season. The 36-year-old has expressed interest in a return to the Cubs and was also thought to have liked the idea of pitching close to home for the Braves, but the recent acquisitions of Drew Smyly and Charlie Morton ruled that out.
Morosi goes on to note that San Francisco was one of Lester’s final choices prior to joining the Cubs ahead of the 2015 season, so the lefty wouldn’t be opposed to joining them on the basis of principle. What’s more, Giants GM Scott Harris is familiar with Lester from his time in the Cubs’ front office.
Sources: #SFGiants interested in free agent LHP Jon Lester. The Giants would like to add one more starting pitcher this offseason, and Lester seriously considered signing with San Francisco before joining the #Cubs after the '14 season. @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 24, 2020
The Cubs still seem to have the inside track if they want to bring Lester back on what would have to be a very team-friendly deal, though he’d need to be convinced that they intend to be competitive. Even if he was able to command a lucrative multiyear deal, he’s got too much pride to simply chase a paycheck.
That’s why the Giants seem like an odd choice, what with their sub-.500 finish in a division that features two teams in the Dodgers and Padres that don’t seem to be falling off. In the end, it may come down to which team offers Lester the best combination of comfort and competitiveness.