Cubs' Willson Contreras thinks Jon Lester has a lot more left in the tank

Stephanie Stremplewski
NBC Sports Chicago

Could 2020 be "The Last Dance" for Jon Lester?

Willson Contreras doesn't think so.

Lester is entering his final year of a $155 million deal with the Cubs, and it's a year that's definitely been cheated for all of us - not just athletes.

He's currently at home with his family in Georgia - going through the trials of eLearning - waiting to hear what's next for baseball.

"I'll tell you what, teachers don't get enough credit not only for teaching but for dealing with kids of all ages," Lester told ESPN Chicago's Waddle & Silvy last week.

Meanwhile, Lester's top catcher has been completing at-home workouts and taking batting practice with a pitching machine gun in his driveway.

In 2018, the Southpaw led the National League in wins (18) and finished the season with a 3.32 ERA.

However, Lester had a 180-degree kind of year in 2019.

Lester knows that last impressions are everything when it comes to teams deciding your fate, and for him, it was a season that consisted of a 4.46 ERA and allowing 205 hits, the most in the National League.

He understands that he's in the last guaranteed year of his contract with an option for 2021. The latter would have required Lester throwing 200 innings this year for the $25 million commitment to tap in.

"I know I have the team option, the player option, that sort of thing," Lester told Boston sports radio network website WEEI.com on Tuesday. "We'll figure that out one way or the other. I will either be here (Chicago) or be a free agent."

Lester also danced with the idea about returning to Boston once his Cubs contract expires.

"I'm open-minded to anything," he said. "Absolutely it would be cool to go back and finish my career where it all started."

And Theo Epstein would most likely be 100 percent okay with that, considering he drafted Lester in the second round of the 2002 MLB Draft for the Red Sox. He made his debut in 2006.

"Hopefully, I'm still a good enough caliber pitcher that the want of my services will still be out there for people," Lester said. "We'll see."

Lester started and won the final game of the 2007 World Series for the Red Sox and helped the team to another championship in 2013. Boston holds a special place in his heart.

But he added another World Series ring in 2016 - a very historical one - with Contreras, Epstein and the Cubs. Will his last dance take place in Chicago? It doesn't sound like he'll be finished anytime soon.

MORE: Jon Lester would ‘love to' stay with Cubs for rest of his career

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Cubs' Willson Contreras thinks Jon Lester has a lot more left in the tank originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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