It was a move that was expected by the Chicago Cubs this offseason to free up some cap space but on Friday, the organization made it official.
The Cubs declined the option on Jon Lester’s contract and agreed to pay him $10M in a buyout, making him a free agent. The move comes as baseball shifts to their offseason with a lot of uncertainty regarding contracts and revenue:
No surprise, the Cubs announce they have declined the option on Jon Lester's contract. He's due a $10 mil buyout
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) October 30, 2020
Lester will likely have a new home next season barring the slim chance the two sides can agree on a different deal to keep him in Chicago. But that seems unlikely at this point as the era in Chicago is over.
The lefty signed with the Cubs ahead of the 2015 season, picking Chicago over a few other options. He was fantastic in his six years, including helping the Cubs end a drought with their 2016 World Series Championship. Lester will finish his Cubs career with a 77-44 record, tossing 1002.2 innings, giving up 959 hits, 452 runs, a 3.64 ERA and a WHIP of 1.248.
Earlier on Friday, Lester teamed up with Miller Lite to pay for the first round of beer for customers at participating bars in Chicago as a “Thank You” to the city.
It was a hell of a six-year run Jon, and we will miss you in the Windy City.