Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester has reportedly agreed to a contract with the Washington Nationals, ending a six-year run in the Windy City.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Lester’s deal is for one year and has a mutual option for a second, and will be completed pending a physical:
In 171 starts with the Cubs, Lester posted a 77-44 record with a 3.64 ERA. The hurler finished in the top 10 in Cy Young voting in two different seasons with the Cubs, helping guide the team to playoff appearances in five of his six seasons on the North Side.
Lester won co-MVP honors in the 2016 NLCS with the Cubs, with a 1-0 record and a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also played a critical role in the World Series for the Cubs, picking up the win in Game 5 of the series and pitching in relief in Game 7 as the Cubs clinched their first title in 108 seasons.
That will be Lester’s big legacy with the Cubs, as his decision to sign with the team in free agency signaled the start of a new era on the North Side.
Now, Lester will head to the nation’s capital, joining former Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber with the Nationals. He will slide into a rotation that already includes some incredible pitchers, including Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin and Stephen Strasburg.
Meanwhile, the Cubs are left with yet another hole to fill in their rotation, having already declined the contract option on Jose Quintana’s deal and trading Yu Darvish to the San Diego Padres. Kyle Hendricks is still around, and the Cubs acquired Zach Davies in the deal with the Padres. Adbert Alzolay and Alec Mills are expected to be among the favorites to land rotation spots with the Cubs in the 2021 season.