The Boston Red Sox are making a serious push to bring back Jon Lester, but they still have plenty of competition.
The left-hander reportedly remains engaged in contract talks with the Red Sox and also has drawn interest from the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs. The last team on that list apparently isn’t messing around, though, as the Cubs have made Lester a six-year offer worth “north of $135 million,” according to David Kaplan of CSN Chicago.
Lester does have a connection in Chicago, as Cubs president Theo Epstein was Boston’s general manager for nearly a decade while the ace was rising through the Red Sox’s system. The Cubs also recently hired a new manager in Joe Maddon, who during his tenure with the Tampa Bay Rays saw plenty of Lester in Boston.
According to Kaplan, though, the Red Sox still remain the front-runners. [tweet https://twitter.com/thekapman/status/537356873091932161 align=’center’]
The Red Sox’s most recent offer to Lester falls in the $110 million to $120 million range, according to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, who added that Boston could be “willing to go to the $130 million range.” Heyman also pointed out that Boston might have an advantage because of Lester’s public desire to go somewhere that makes him happy.
To top it all off, the World Series champion San Francisco Giants reportedly are in the mix for Lester, too, and plan to meet with the 30-year-old next week, a source told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
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