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Cubs decline option year on Lester’s contract


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 26: Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 26, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Jon Lester’s time with the Cubs could be over. Friday the team declined its 2021 mutual contract option on the veteran lefty. The option was for $25 million.

Lester now becomes a free agent. There’s a chance he could resign with the Cubs on a smaller deal.

Lester, 36, was 3-3 with a 5.16 ERA (35 ER/61.0 IP) in 12 starts last season. He walked 17 and struck out 42. In six seasons with the Cubs starting in 2015, Lester posted a 77-44 record with four complete games and a 3.64 ERA (405 ER/1,002.2 IP) in 171 starts. His .636 winning percentage leads all lefthanders in franchise history (min. 100 decisions) and his 77 victories are fifth-most among Cubs lefties all-time.

In 12 postseason starts for Chicago, Lester posted a 2.44 ERA (19 ER/70.0 IP) with a 3-3 record and a .201 opponent batting average.

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