Sources told FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Thursday night that Lester is unlikely to sign with a team before the Major League Baseball winter meetings, which kick off Monday in San Diego. This conflicts with previous reports that suggested Lester would choose a team by the end of this week.
Perhaps the Los Angeles Dodgers’ reported entry into the Lester sweepstakes played a role in the left-hander’s decision to wait a bit longer. The Dodgers certainly aren’t shy about spending money, so one would imagine Lester could land an even more lucrative contract if they pursue the three-time All-Star, even if he ends up signing elsewhere in free agency.
As of Friday morning, the Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants were considered to be the most serious suitors for Lester. The situation remains fluid, though, and perhaps the winter meetings will spawn new pursuers.
Maybe it’ll be the New York Yankees, who have been laying in the weeds throughout this whole process. Maybe it’ll be the Seattle Mariners, who don’t appear to be serious players but have the appeal of being Lester’s hometown team. Of course, there’s also a chance the always popular “mystery team” could join the fray before Lester settles on where he’ll pitch next season.
Either way, the winter meetings will be even more interesting if Lester enters the event unsigned. And right now, it’s looking like that could be the case.
Thumbnail photo via Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports Images
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