The Cardinals have joined the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves in pursuit of Jon Lester, a club source told ESPN’s Jim Bowden.
St. Louis traded Miller to Atlanta on Monday along with pitching prospect Tyrell Jenkins in exchange for outfielder Jason Heyward and setup man Jordan Walden. The move filled the hole created by the tragic death of outfielder Oscar Taveras, but it created a question in the Cardinals’ rotation. Lester certainly represents an intriguing target for St. Louis, particularly given his strong relationship with John Lackey from the hurlers’ days in Boston.
Lester already has visited with the Red Sox and Cubs this week, according to reports. He’s reportedly scheduled to visit with the Braves on Thursday. The left-hander lives in Atlanta during the offseason.
A major league source recently told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that Lester has drawn “legitimate interest” from six teams. The Toronto Blue Jays reportedly are among the teams despite already signing catcher Russell Martin to a five-year, $82 million contract.
Lester, who turns 31 in January, is one of the best starters available on the free-agent market this offseason. The veteran southpaw went 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA in 32 starts this season.
Lester spent his first eight-plus seasons with Boston before being shipped to the Oakland Athletics at this year’s Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline.
Thumbnail photo via Robert Stanton/USA TODAY Sports Images
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