Lester wants to re-sign after Cubs declined $25M mutual option
Joe Robbins / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Chicago Cubs declined to exercise their half of the $25-million mutual option on Jon Lester on Friday, making the veteran left-hander a free agent.

Lester will receive a $10-million buyout.

While he's now on the open market, the Cubs and Lester are expected to discuss a reunion on a contract that's worth less, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago. The 36-year-old confirmed he's interested in returning to the north side.

"I know there is some doubt as far as the money that's out there but I would like to think we can definitely get this thing done," Lester told ESPN Radio 1000 on Friday, according to ESPN's Jesse Rogers. "I think it's going to be a long offseason for everybody."

Lester signed a six-year, $155-million deal with the Cubs before the 2015 season. Throughout the contract, he compiled a 3.64 ERA, made two All-Star appearances, and was named NLCS co-MVP during the team's historic run to a World Series title in 2016.

He struggled in 2020, posting a career-high 5.16 ERA with a 1.33 WHIP and 42 strikeouts over 12 starts. His 6.2 strikeouts per nine innings was the worst mark of Lester's career.

The Cubs also claimed infielder Max Schrock off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals. Left-hander Rex Brothers, meanwhile, was outrighted off the team's 40-man roster and assigned to Triple-A Iowa.

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Lester wants to re-sign after Cubs declined $25M mutual option
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