A Jon Lester-Cubs reunion is still very much in the cards.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, new Cubs president Jed Hoyer provided an update on possibly bringing back the veteran left-hander in 2021.
“We've been very consistent in our communication with his representatives and will continue to be,” Hoyer said. “If things could work out, we’d love to have him back.
“We have to figure some things out first. That kind of goes without saying, because otherwise, something would be done by now. There's some things we want to want to work through first.”
The Cubs bought out Lester’s 2021 option at the end of October but have been consistent in their interest in bringing him back. That interest is mutual, as Lester told ESPN 1000 on the day of his buyout he’s “looking forward to hopefully coming back next year."
For the Cubs, a low-cost, perhaps incentive-laden deal would make sense, giving them another experienced rotation arm as Tyler Chatwood and José Quintana likely depart as free agents.
And for Lester, coming back in 2021 would give him the chance to reach 200 wins in a Cubs uniform, along with getting a proper send-off from fans after pitching in an empty Wrigley Field in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Lester is considered the greatest free agent signing in Cubs history and has meant a lot to the city. He expressed his gratitude during Halloween weekend, buying more than $47,000 worth of beer to Chicagoans as a way to say thanks.
“What he's done for us is amazing and certainly we’re not ready to close that door,” Hoyer said, “and we have been talking to ACES (Lester’s agents) a lot about that.”