Aug 17, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) delivers a pitch to an Atlanta Braves batter in the second inning of their game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Lester unlikely to return to Red Sox; Yankees, Cubs interested

When the Boston Red Sox traded away ace pitcher Jon Lester in July to the Oakland A’s, they knew it was possible he’d re-sign with the team this offseason. For what it’s worth, Lester has been very open to the idea and even suggested he wouldn’t automatically sign with the highest bidder.

Of course, turning down a significant amount of money is much easier said than done and it’s expected that Lester will cash in as deep pocketed franchises like the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs will have interest in the All-Star pitcher.

But Lester’s former team, the Boston Red Sox aren’t likely to re-sign the elite arm despite suggestions that they hope to do so.

The Cubs and rival Yankees, among others, look like much more likely landing spots for Lester at this time, in fact. The Yankees have admired Lester’s guts and clutch pitching for years (and especially that career 0.43 World Series ERA) and would surely make a play for the former Red Sox ace. Meanwhile, folks around the game suggest Lester’s old friends Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, who picked Lester for Boston and are now running the Cubs, are extremely likely to be in there pitching, as well. Epstein and Hoyer “absolutely love” Lester, is the word from one official who knows Chicago’s top execs well.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman went on to suggest that the inability of the Red Sox to get a deal done with Jon Lester before the mid-season trade puts a heavy damper on their attempt to re-sign him this offseason, though that seems a little odd considering the two sides still have a positive relationship. Heyman also notes that the Red Sox aren’t very fond of giving a pitcher a massive, long-term deal which is why they may also be unlikely to re-sign Jon Lester.

Tags: Boston Red Sox Chicago Cubs Jon Lester New York Yankees

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