MLB rumors: Cubs free agent Jon Lester in talks with Nationals

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Maddie Lee
·1 min read
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MLB rumors: Lester in talks with Nationals originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Jon Lester and Kyle Schwarber are set to reunite in Washington DC.

Lester is finalizing a deal with the Nationals, NBC Sports Chicago confirmed Monday. The Athletic was the first to report talks between Lester and the Nats.

The Cubs declined the left-hander’s $25 million option in October, sending him into free agency. But they remained in contact with his representation.

“If things could work out, we’d love to have him back,” Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said last month.

According to sources, the Cubs did make Lester an offer after talks with the Nationals began, but it was not enough to lure him back to Chicago. The Cubs have at least one open rotation spot on their roster.

The team also parted ways with Schwarber this offseason, after non-tendering the outfielder's contract. Schwarber signed with the Nationals a week ago.

Lester spent six seasons in Chicago, and just as long as Schwarber’s teammate, after signing as a free agent ahead of the 2015 season. He grew emotional in mid-September after what may have been his last start at Wrigley Field as a Cub.

“To have an empty stadium,” Lester said then, “it's not really how I envisioned possibly my last start here. I'm not going to sit here and say, 'Woe is me,' but I didn't think six years would go this fast."

 

Gordon Wittenmyer contributed to the reporting of this story.

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