The Atlanta Braves seemingly are out of the Jon Lester sweepstakes.
The Braves recently met with Lester as the left-hander continues to weigh his options in free agency. However, Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said over the weekend that it’s hard to imagine Atlanta entering into a bidding war for Lester’s services despite the club’s interest in the three-time All-Star.
“We’re going to examine everything that we think makes sense. The one guy that we have discussed, and we actually met with Jon Lester in Atlanta,” Hart said Sunday on MLB Network Radio. “He’s a guy that we’ve obviously liked for some time. He actually resides (in Atlanta). His wife is from the area. They have a beautiful home in Atlanta. And we thought it was worthwhile to meet with Jon. We were able to free up a few dollars. But again, I think one of the things you guys well understand is the dynamic of some of the dollars are not real productive for us, at least at this stage.
“It just makes it difficult for us to go out and jump into the bigger market,” Hart added after pointing out the money attached to Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton, each of whom has underperformed in Atlanta. “It might be right guy, wrong time.”
David O’Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote Monday that the Braves came away from their Nov. 20 meeting impressed by Lester as a person. The Chicago Cubs reportedly offered Lester a six-year, $138 million contract, though, and that’s apparently too rich for the Braves’ blood.
The Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays are among the other teams to be linked to Lester in some capacity this offseason.
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