Cubs decline club option on LHP Jon Lester; will pick up Rizzo’s option for 2021

Cubs decline club option on LHP Jon Lester; will pick up Rizzo’s option for 2021

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

The team will likely pick up first baseman Anthony Rizzo’s $14.5 million option for 2021 this weekend

The Cubs have declined the left-hander Jon Lester’s 2021 club option, officially making the veteran southpaw a free agent. The move comes as no surprise as Lester had a pricey $25 million club option for next season.

Lester, 36, was 3-3 with a 5.16 ERA in 12 starts this season.

While the Cubs’ declined Lester’s option, there is still room for a return to the North Side. Declining next year’s option is the first step toward that return.

“We’ve had conversations about coming back and being a part of this organization,” Lester said on MLB Network Radio. “We haven’t had any contract talks, but the feeling is mutual on both sides that we want to get something done.

“I think the weird part or weird scenario that we’re in right now is the unknown of going forward. Of what this deal, this state of the world that we’re in is gonna do for baseball.”

Lester becomes the third Cubs starting pitcher to hit the market, as Tyler Chatwood and Jose Quintana became free agents on Wednesday.

According to a source, the Cubs will be picking up Anthony Rizzo’s club option for 2021 and declining second baseman Daniel Descalso’s club option.

Rizzo is entering the final year of the seven-year, $41 million extension he signed back in 2013. Kris Bryant, Javy Baez, Kyle Schwarber and Rizzo are all set to become free agents after next season.

The Cubs also made two roster moves on Friday, claiming infielder Max Schrock off waivers from the Cardinals and left-handed pitcher Rex Brothers has been assigned outright to Triple-A Iowa.

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