Report: Giants to meet with Lester

After missing out on retaining Pablo Sandoval, the Giants have reportedly shifted their focus to acquiring free agent pitcher Jon Lester.

According to ESPN’s Jim Bowden, Lester is scheduled to meet with San Francisco next week. The news comes on the heels of a substantial offer from the Cubs.

Earlier Tuesday, Chicago reportedly extended a six-year offer worth “north” of $135 million, according to David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com. The Braves and the Cardinals, whom he’s also expected to meet with next week, remain in the mix for the 30-year-old left-hander.

Lester spent the first eight years of his career in Boston before he was dealt to Oakland at the trade deadline last season. He went 16-11 with a career-best 2.46 ERA in 2014 before losing his American League Wild Card start against the World Series-bound Royals.

Adding Lester would provide the defending champions with a formidable No. 2 behind World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner. He would help solidity a rotation facing significant questions this offseason with Matt Cain coming off season-ending elbow surgery and Ryan Vogelsong entering free agency.

– Chad Thornburg

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