“At least six” teams interested in Jon Lester

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The Red Sox and Cubs have long been considered the favorites to sign free agent Jon Lester, with the Braves and Cardinals also lingering. But there may be a surprise coming.

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that there are “at least six” teams expressing serious interest in the left-handed starter and other clubs “continue to jump into the bidding.” The Yankees have denied that they’re going to make a big push in free agency, but Rosenthal writes Sunday that “the entire sport is bracing for them to snap to attention, as they always do.”

Lester, 30, had a 2.46 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 220/48 K/BB ratio in 219 2/3 innings this past season between Boston and Oakland. The Red Sox reportedly offered him $110-$120 million over six years, but that was just an initial proposal. It sounds like he’s going to top $150 million.