The Jon Lester that all of Red Sox Nation has loved for the past 8 years, might be going Hollywood on us. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean he’ll be starring in JJ Abrams new Star Wars film (How awesome would that be?!), but instead would be wearing Dodger blue and would play second fiddle to 2 time Cy Young winner, Clayton Kershaw.
The speculation over the past few weeks was that the Red Sox were the front runners to land their former ace. Theo and the Cubs seemed to have made an offer to Lester, but as reports suggested it was in the same ballpark as the offer from Ben Cherington and company. The belief is that if Lester was offered the same thing, he would choose Boston over the North Side of Chicago.
Lester had also met with the defending World Champions, San Francisco Giants, and they may also be huge players in the bidding war due to all the money they saved by not re-signing Pablo Sandavol, so they are still very much a possible landing spot for Lester.
Lester wisely has not signed with anybody yet, and as each day passes, the more panicky teams get, and the more willing they are to pay more. On Tuesday it was rumored that the New York Yankees were jumping into the bidding despite reports that they weren’t going to target any big time free agents this offseaon. Those rumors were all but put to rest when it was reported that if the Bombers were going to go for a starter, they would go for Max Scherzer instead.
That leaves the Red Sox, Cubs, Giants, and Dodgers as teams in the Lester sweepstakes.
I did predict that the Cubs would give anything it took to get Lester, but now I believe it’ll be the Dodgers who give him what he wants. The Dodgers aren’t afraid to spend to money, and now more than ever they need to improve their team to make a big playoff push next year.
Magic Johnson is no stranger to winning championships (in his case they were basketball championships), and they’ve already committed so much money to payroll, it would be embarrassing for the team not to win again.
It would make total sense for the Dodgers to get Lester and put him in the same rotation as Kershaw, and Zach Greinke. In fact, a rotation featuring Kershaw, Greinke, and Lester may be one of the best rotations in the past decade, and Lester might be able to teach Kershaw a thing or two about what it takes to win the postseason.
Lester isn’t expected to make a decision until sometime next week, but it feels as if every Baseball front office is waiting to see where he ends up. If he ends up in San Fran, or Chicago, the Red Sox and Dodgers will be racing to the phone to try and trade for Cole Hamels. Its clear Hamels may be out of Philly as the Phillies try to blowup their entire organization and start over. If Max Scherzer winds up back in Detroit, it wouldn’t be surprising to see David Price on the trading block, and despite only having 1 year left on his contract, it might be worth a shot for the Red Sox to bring him into Boston. (If Price does find his way to Boston, maybe he and Big Papi can be roommates)
It must be a nice feeling for Lester right now. He knows they whole baseball world is not only watching him, but waiting on his next move, and his decision will be the catalyst that puts the hot stove into full throttle.