Cubs analyst: Letting Jon Lester go to the Nats is 'embarrassing'


By signing Jon Lester, the Nationals are getting a reliable fourth starter to stabilize their rotation after their three aces (Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin) take their turns on the mound. 

While Nats fans can bask in the joy of acquiring such an accomplished player for just $4 million, some in Chicago are upset with the Cubs for letting Lester go. NBC Sports Chicago's David Kaplan even went on to call the decision "embarrassing."

"The Cubs could've kept Jon Lester, he wanted to be here," Kaplan said in a video posted on Twitter. "He wasn't looking to break the bank. He got $4 million and some incentives from the Nationals. The Cubs' offer wasn't close, that's embarrassing."

Lester may be best known for his time with the Red Sox, where he helped the team win two World Series titles in six years, but he made a serious mark during his time in Chicago. His signing in 2015 signaled the franchise's push toward a championship, and now the team has decided to let him walk despite his desire to come back.

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"You brought [Lester] and said, 'Help us change our culture,'" Kaplan said. "They were under .500 the day he signed with the Cubs. The next year, 97 wins and an NLCS trip. The following year, we all know how 2016 went.

"And now this guy tells you, 'I want to be here,' he lets you know in no uncertain terms, 'I want to be a Chicago Cub, I want to retire here,'" he said. "And you can't find a way to scrape together $4 million? How many tens of millions of dollars did the Chicago Cubs make off the World Series? This is beyond embarrassing to treat a guy, who's supposedly a part of the family, like that."

Lester isn't the pitcher he was in his prime. He's coming off a 2020 campaign where he posted a career-worst 5.16 ERA and at 37, it's fair to wonder whether he has another productive season and postseason run left in him. The Cubs didn't appear to think he did, while the Nationals are hoping he can help them secure another World Series title before he hangs it up for good. 

Over the course of his 15-year career, Lester has been to the playoffs nine times, won three World Series titles and holds a 2.51 ERA in the postseason in 26 total appearances. 


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