When former Cubs pitching hero Jon Lester’s cope with the Nationals was introduced on Wednesday, and he hit the media by way of Zoom, it supplied a handful of good tales for Washington baseball writers overlaying a current champion making an attempt to win one other World Sequence along with his core this 12 months.
In Chicago, it supplied little greater than an in-your-face reminder of a brand new champion with no such intentions as to what stays of the declining core.
“We see all kinds of issues taking place,” Lester mentioned when requested about how he tackled Cub’s winter with a cost-saving transition. “I feel the massive factor is that you simply see someplace the place they’re going. However that doesn’t imply they are going to be dangerous. The Chicago Cubs are nonetheless an excellent crew, an excellent group. ”
With all due respect to one of the crucial highly effective pitchers in franchise historical past, this can be one of many few issues that Lester received unsuitable in the case of the Cubs.
The Cubs have precisely two pitchers on their 40-man roster that has ever made greater than 11 begins in a season. Their greatest low season acquisition is a $ 1.5 million backup catcher (Austin Romine). And they’re anticipated to decrease at the very least as a lot wage as they’re including now to spring coaching even after dropping greater than $ 65 million.
Whatever the particularly peaceable nature for the children this winter is properly documented. And look no additional than Nat’s roster to see exhibitions A and B in Lester and left fielders Kyle Schwarber – which weren’t supplied by the Cubs to save cash after which signed by the Nationals for $ 10 million.
Amongst different issues, Lester confirmed on Wednesday that he had reached out to the Cubs earlier within the free commerce course of to attempt to make up for his or her mutual curiosity in bringing him again, that he spoke immediately with chairman Tom Ricketts in addition to crew president Jed Hoyer, that it didn’t even lead to a minimal supply till it was “proper down on the nitty gritty” with Nationals.
“Actually all of the belongings you heard,” Lester mentioned of the various sources who outlined that contact, and any supply to oppose the Nat’s supply that one supply mentioned was “not shut.”
However we knew all this earlier than Wednesday.
And Lester was greater than gracious in all his conversations with the Cubs as he circumvented a query about his personal historic significance to the Cubs, talked so much about friendships developed over the previous six years in Chicago, and harassed “no onerous emotions.”
If something, the onerous emotions stay within the place he formally resigned on Wednesday – a spot he helped reshape, if not redefine, throughout a six-year run that included two All-Star picks, a Cy Younger second place, 5 playoffs performances, a cursing championship and nothing however profitable seasons.
Watching Lester speak in regards to the “positives” of “some disappointment” within the effort to get one other 12 months to work in Chicago and within the subsequent breath, the “pleasure of this new chapter” was a reminder of each final perseverance that didn’t wish to imagine the previous the month, or the month earlier than: That is the tip of an period that in response to some measures was one of the best six-year run in franchise historical past.
Possibly Hoyer will research once more within the subsequent 12 months or two, as he and Theo Epstein did nearly a decade in the past to recreate one other related one – possibly even on a quicker timeline.
However till then, it is about heartfelt goodbye and digital handshakes on their method out the door for 2016 giants Lester, Schwarber and Epstein – together with boss Joe Maddon a 12 months in the past. And possibly even Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras or Javy Baez earlier than the summer time is out.
“It is a actuality,” mentioned veteran Jason Heyward, the person behind the legendary Recreation 7 rule assembly. “If something, we’re good at coping with the actual factor in the case of the fellows I’ve struggled with lately.”
Monetary actuality dictates “you may’t afford everybody,” Heyward mentioned.
“However I additionally assume it is an incredible factor to have the ability to say that you’ll miss folks and never say that if somebody goes forward to rush up and get him out of right here and want we had some particular reminiscences collectively,” he added. to. “It merely got here to our discover then. You’ll be sorry to see some folks go, however I really feel I don’t take it without any consideration. I’d somewhat be like that than the opposite. ”
Though it’s lastly formally over for a bunch of 2016 champions who know higher than anybody else the place this membership stands now.
“I felt like we did all this yesterday however solely with the Cubs,” Lester mentioned of the inaugural press convention at an unique venue on the Magazine Mile in December 2014. “It is loopy. I am glad we’ve got to do a number of issues there. I am glad I received to play with a number of guys like I did. …
“I am glad I’ve to be a part of one other historic franchise and make historical past, and it is one thing nobody can ever take from us.”
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