UPDATE: The fun continues. According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, an MLB executive with connections to one team involved in the bidding believes that Lester is leaning toward the Giants.
8:01 p.m. ET: David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com was told by two “very good MLB sources” that they believe the Cubs are in the lead for Lester.
6:43 p.m. ET: It looks like we could be in for an interesting night, as ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent left-hander Jon Lester is nearing the finish line and will soon have final offers to choose from. He could make his decision tonight.
Olney paints a slightly different picture than Rob Bradford of WEEI.com in Boston, who hears that Lester’s agents aren’t prepared to present their client with final offers. He even writes that there’s a “strong possibility” that the southpaw won’t make his decision until Wednesday morning. For now, we wait.
The main clubs mentioned for Lester are the Red Sox, Cubs, Giants, and Dodgers. Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans said on Sirius XM earlier today that he thought his club was “in the back seat” for Lester and pegged the Cubs and Red Sox as the favorites, but GM Brian Sabean later said that he believes they are still “very much” in the mix. Don’t worry, I’m confused too.
When it’s all said and done, Lester is likely to receive a deal north of $150 million, potentially as part of a seven-year contract. His signing is expected to have a domino effect on the starting pitcher market.