Lester signed a one-year, $5 million contract with Washington on Monday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
Lester became a free agent following the conclusion of the 2020 campaign after spending the last six seasons with Chicago. It's unclear as to how many seasons the 37-year-old southpaw has left in the tank, but he figures to slot in near the back end of Washington's starting rotation behind Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin. The deal includes a mutual option for the 2022 season.
Lester's $25 million team option was declined by the Cubs on Friday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
Lester spent the last six seasons with the Cubs, but he'll unsurprisingly hit free agency as his results have declined over the past two seasons. The 36-year-old will be paid a $10 million buyout by Chicago. Lester will search for a new deal after posting a 5.16 ERA and 1.33 WHIP over 61 innings in 2020.
Lester (3-3) allowed seven runs on six hits and three walks while striking out three over 3.2 innings in a loss to the White Sox on Saturday.
The Cubs got out to a 5-2 lead after three innings, but Lester gave all of that back and then some in the fourth. Lester's ERA jumped from 4.40 to 5.16 as a result of this blowup, and it's possible manager David Ross will reconsider his rotation plans for the postseason. Ross had previously indicated Lester was the likely choice for Game 3 of the first round (if necessary).
Lester seems likely to pitch in Game 3 if one is necessary in the Cubs' upcoming first-round playoff series, though manager David Ross hasn't confirmed his rotation plans, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Lester is scheduled to make his final regular-season start Saturday, which would put him on six days' rest by the time a Game 3 would be held Oct. 2. The veteran has had an up-and-down year, though he's pitched better lately, and he certainly has proven his worth in big games before. "Definitely Jon's experience goes a long way for me, and putting somebody out there that can handle the moment is very powerful," Ross said. Chicago will likely roll with Kyle Hendricks and Yu Darvish in the first two games of the best-of-three series, which is set to begin Wednesday.
Lester (3-2) tossed six scoreless innings to pick up the win Monday against the Pirates. He allowed four hits and a walk, while striking out one.
After a rough patch of outings between mid-August and early September, Lester has turned things around in his last three starts. The veteran has logged 17 innings in those games and has allowed just two earned runs, lowering his ERA from 5.80 to 4.40 in the process. He's not missing a ton of bats, with just 10 strikeouts in those 17 innings, and Pittsburgh is certainly a soft matchup, but this is still encouraging for Lester and the Cubs as they move toward the playoffs. The lefty lines up for one more regular-season start Saturday against the White Sox.
Lester did not factor into the decision during Wednesday's win over the Indians, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out one batter across five innings.
Lester got off to a messy first inning, during which he allowed a baserunner to score on a wild pitch. The 36-year-old settled down from there, quieting Cleveland's bats until a solo blast off the bat of Oscar Mercado in the fifth frame. Lester then left the game with the score knotted, 2-2. The right-hander, coming off a season-high eight strikeouts, has done well over his last two starts but has seen an inconsistent season to the tune of a 4.91 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. Lester is slated to take the mound for a favorable matchup Monday at Pittsburgh.
Lester threw six innings of three-hit, shutout baseball during the Cubs' 1-0 loss to the Brewers, while walking two and striking out eight on Friday.
Lester (2-2) rebounded after allowing five runs through 3.1 innings in his last start. That being said, his expected ERA still ranks in the bottom fifth of the league, making him a regression candidate down the stretch. The Cubs' elite offense buoys his value, and he draws the Indians' bottom-ten offense in his next start.
Lester pitched six scoreless innings but did not factor into the decision in Friday's 1-0 loss to the Brewers. He allowed three hits and two walks, while striking out eight.
Lester didn't get the win but he had his best outing of the season, and it was just the second time in his last six starts that he allowed fewer than five earned runs. The eight strikeouts also marked a season high. The veteran lefty still has a 5.05 ERA even after this excellent performance, which underscores how poorly he's pitched for most of the year. Lester will hope to build some momentum from this outing and carry it over into his next trip to the hill, which is currently scheduled for Wednesday against Cleveland.
Lester (2-2) took the loss against the Cardinals on Sunday, allowing five runs on six hits and two walks over 3.1 innings. He struck out four.
Lester gave up a pair of homers -- a Tommy Edman solo shot in the first inning and Paul Goldschmidt's three-run blast in the third. It's the fourth time in five starts Lester has allowed five or more runs, and the second time in that span he hasn't gotten out of the fourth inning. The southpaw has a 5.80 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 29 strikeouts across 40.1 innings this season. He'll try to get back on track Friday in Milwaukee.
Lester didn't factor into the decision in Tuesday's 8-7 extra-innings win over the Pirates, coughing up five runs on eight hits and three walks over 5.1 innings. He struck out three.
The veteran southpaw seemed to have things well in hand as he took a 6-1 lead into the sixth inning, but after getting Josh Bell to ground out to begin the frame, five straight Bucs reached base before Lester got the hook. He's been tagged for at least five runs in three of his last four outings, ballooning his ERA to 5.11, and his 2020 campaign is beginning to look a lot like a compacted version of his 2019 season -- a hot but unsustainable start, followed by severe regression. Lester will try to get back on track in his next outing Sunday, at home against the Cardinals.
Lester allowed one earned run on eight hits and one walk while striking out five across five innings Wednesday against the Tigers. He did not factor into the decision.
Lester allowed runners to reach base in all five innings he pitched, and multiple runners reached base in three frames. However, he got timely outs to work out of jams and ultimately turned in a solid outing. It was a bounceback effort for Lester, as he had allowed 13 earned runs across 9.2 innings across his last two starts. Overall, he has maintained a 4.55 ERA with a 22:5 K:BB across 31.2 frames this season. He lines up for his next outing Tuesday at Pittsburgh.
Lester (2-1) took the loss Friday as the Cubs were routed 10-1 by the White Sox, coughing up eight runs on nine hits -- including four home runs -- over 3.2 innings. He struck out three without walking a batter.
After a scoreless first inning, the squad from the south side of Chicago showed Lester no mercy, as Luis Robert, Jose Abreu, Danny Mendick and Yasmani Grandal all took the veteran left-hander deep, with the last homer chasing him from the game. After posting a 1.06 ERA through his first three outings, Lester has fallen apart, giving up 13 runs and six homers over his last 9.2 innings. He'll try to turn things around when he next takes the mound Wednesday in Detroit.
Lester allowed five earned runs on nine hits across six innings in a no-decision Sunday against the Brewers. He struck out five.
Lester turned in his worst outing of the season, as he was victimized by two long balls, bringing his season total to three home runs allowed. It was the first time he allowed more than a single run in a start this year. On a more encouraging note, the veteran lefty didn't walk anybody, and he's walked only four batters all season. Despite the mediocre showing Sunday, Lester still has a strong 2.74 ERA. He'll look to keep the ball in the park and post a better final line in his next outing, which is slated for Saturday against the crosstown White Sox.
Lester (2-0) allowed one earned run on three hits and two walks while striking out four across six innings to earn the win Tuesday against Cleveland.
Lester didn't allow a run until the sixth inning, when he hit a batter with a pitch and subsequently allowed an RBI double to Franmil Reyes. He was otherwise sharp, allowing only one additional extra-base hit while racking up 20 called strikes. Lester has had a resurgent season early on, maintaining a 1.06 ERA through 17 innings. However, he has managed just a 9:4 K:BB in that span. He currently lines up for his next start Sunday against Milwaukee.
Lester will start Tuesday's game at Cleveland, Russell Dorsey of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
The veteran southpaw was scheduled to take the mound Friday in St. Louis, but the weekend series was postponed as a result of the Cardinals' COVID-19 outbreak. Lester will start Chicago's first game back Tuesday and has allowed one run on four hits and two walks through his first two starts of the season (11 innings).
Lester won't make his scheduled start Friday after the game was postponed due to the Cardinals' coronavirus outbreak, Mark Saxon of The Athletic reports.
Consecutive days with no positive tests had the Cardinals optimistic about their ability to take the field Friday for the first time in nine days, but they received news of at least one more positive test Friday. It would hardly be a surprise if the entire weekend series gets called off based on how the league has handled similar cases thus far, though it remains possible that Lester could start as soon as Saturday.
Lester allowed one earned run on four hits and a walk while striking out four across six innings Sunday against the Pirates. He did not factor into the decision.
Lester got off to a shaky start, as he allowed a solo home run to Kevin Newman in the first inning. However, he settled in thereafter and retired the final eight batters he faced to turn in his second strong outing of the season. Lester carries a 0.82 ERA into his third start of the season, though he has managed just five strikeouts across 11 innings. His next appearance is currently projected to come Friday at the Cardinals.
Lester (1-0) walked one and struck out one over five scoreless, no-hit innings Monday to pick up the win against the Reds.
The Cubs supplied the veteran southpaw with four runs of support before he even stepped on the mound and Lester did the rest, baffling the Reds just long enough to qualify for the win and exiting after 76 pitches (50 strikes). After a shaky 2019 campaign in which he posted a 4.46 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, a shortened schedule and deeper bullpen behind him could be just what Lester needs to turn his ratios around.
Lester tossed 4.1 innings of one-run ball in Wednesday's exhibition game against the Twins. He allowed one hit and two walks, while striking out four.
Lester was at 66 pitches (42 for strikes) when he was pulled and would have surely continued if this had been a regular season contest. The veteran lefty will look to carry this momentum into his 2020 debut, which is slated for Monday against the Reds.
Manager David Ross said Lester will start the team's fourth game of the season Monday against the Reds, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
It was previously reported that the Cubs would roll with Kyle Hendricks, Yu Darvish and then Tyler Chatwood for the first series of the year this weekend, and this confirms that Lester will follow those three righties. The veteran lefty could even possibly bump down to fifth in the rotation whenever Jose Quintana (thumb) is ready to join the club.
|Last 7 Games|
|09/26||@ CHW||L 5-9||1||3.2||6||7||3||3|
|09/21||@ PIT||W 5-0||1||6.0||4||0||1||1|
|09/16||vs CLE||W 3-2||5.0||4||2||1||1|
|09/11||@ MIL||L 0-1||6.0||3||0||2||8|
|09/06||vs STL||L 3-7||1||3.1||6||5||2||4|
|09/01||@ PIT||W 8-7||5.1||8||5||3||3|
|08/26||@ DET||L 6-7||5.0||8||1||1||5|
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|