Chicago Cubs Jon Lester has cemented his status as arguably the best free-agent signing in history since arriving in the Windy City in 2015.
Jon Lester’s decision to sign with the Chicago Cubs kickstarted one of the most successful eras of baseball in franchise history, one defined by a World Series championship in 2016. Fittingly, Lester was utterly dominant that year, going 19-5 with a 2.44 ERA in 202 2/3 innings of work and finishing second in the National League Cy Young Award voting.
But things have been a grind for Lester ever since. He had command issues in 2017 and 2018, and last season he allowed the most hits of any pitcher in the NL.
The Cubs already let Cole Hamels walk in free agency and have yet to add a back-end starter, so there will be plenty of pressure on Lester to have a bounce-back year as the Cubs hope to get quality innings from their top starters.
But Lester also just turned 36, and his velocity and “stuff” (for lack of a better time) are certainly on the decline.
One of the reasons Lester had so much success in 2016 has to do with his command of the fastball. He threw the four-seamer nearly 50 percent of the time and had tremendous success on the outer…