Jon Lester to meet with Cubs

According to reports, free agent pitcher Jon Lester will meet with Cubs officials next week. ESPNBoston.com reports Lester’s agents have prepared a 200-plus page full color portfolio on the pitcher, along with a three-minute video. It features his charity work as well as his efforts on the field. Lester’s agent, Seth Levinson, met with Cubs officials as well as others, including Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, during the GM meetings in Phoenix. That’s standard procedure — agents touch base with all teams interested in their clients. But the bidding for Lester most likely will come down to the Cubs vs. Red Sox, who would like Lester to come back.

Just don’t expect the Cubs to sign Lester, Max Scherzer and James Shields.

“It’s hard to acquire pitching. Period,” Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Wednesday in Phoenix. “It’s hard to acquire top-of-the-rotation pitching. I’ve seen us linked. People predict that we’re going to sign two top-of-the-rotation starters who both require nine-figure contracts. That’s not happening.

“Look at the history of nine-figure starting pitching contracts, and it’s a huge risk,” Epstein said. “So, to put an organization in the position to have two such deals immediately in the course of the same offseason, I couldn’t imagine something like that occurring.”

— Carrie Muskat

2 Comments

“Look at the history of nine-figure starting pitching contracts, and it’s a huge risk,” Epstein said. O.K. Theo, then why are you even meeting with Lester???

maybe because Theo helped draft, sign, and develop Lester and knows more about him than just about any other GM. No such familiarity with Shields or Scherzer. long-term megadeals for pitchers ARE a HUGE risk, but knowing the man well helps.

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