The Chicago Cubs have agreed on a contract that brings left-handed pitcher Jon Lester on for six years and $155 million. The addition to the rotation comes after the Cubs traded for catcher Miguel Montero from the Diamondbacks, and signed former Rays’ manager Joe Maddon.
These signings prove that the Cubs are serious about ending their over-100-year-old curse; the last time the Cubs won a World Series was in 1908. Who could end a curse that long you may ask? Well, Theo Epstein — the Cubs president — was a big part of the Red Sox ending their 86-year World Series drought. After winning the World Series with the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007, Epstein signed with Chicago in 2011 and started the transformation.
Lester, 30, was 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA and 220 strikeouts in 219 2/3 innings with the Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics in 2014. In six of his last seven seasons, the lefty accumulated at least 15 wins and pitched over 190 innings in all seven of them.
Lester and Maddon join a ballclub full of very good young talent that includes Javy Baez, Jorge Soler, Junior Lake and Mike Olt. These guys have Major League experience, but one of the biggest keys for the Cubs in 2014 will be the super-talented prospects in their farm system.
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Kris Bryant — third baseman and Minor League player of the year in 2014 — led all minor leaguers in homeruns with 43, and is set to join the Major League club sometime in the 2015 season. Addison Russell, 20, is the Cubs number-one prospect. Russell, a shortstop, has drawn comparisons to players such as Barry Larkin.
With young talent, Lester at the top of the rotation, Maddon managing and a good group of core guys, the Cubs will once again bring excitement to Wrigley Field in 2015. They might even host games in late October.