TUESDAY, 3:37am: The Cubs, Giants, Dodgers and Red Sox have all made offers to Lester of around six years and $150MM, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. One unknown team is willing to go to seven years and around $175MM, but Rosenthal suggests (as Jon Heyman also did earlier this morning) that might not matter, because Lester might simply choose the team he prefers, regardless of the financial specifics.
1:44am: Lester’s limbo could continue until Wednesday, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford tweets. Team owners are now involved in the process and are slowing it down.
1:21am: Lester has six- and seven-year offers in hand, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets. It’s possible, however, that Lester won’t take the biggest-money offer. Heyman tweets that Lester’s deal is expected to wind up being somewhere from $150MM to $175MM.
MONDAY 11:54pm: Lester will not make his decision tonight, tweets Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com.
8:44pm: Giants GM Brian Sabean hasn’t been told when a decision is coming, but he believes that Lester will make his call soon, tweets Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News.
Sabean says that Lester is the only player that he’s currently engaged in, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). He also says there are five teams that are in on Lester, not four (link).
6:09pm: A front office person cautioned Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (on Twitter) not to count the Yankees out of the Lester sweepstakes. Crasnick also spoke with a scout who is hearing the same thing.
4:38pm: The hope within the Giants’ organization that they have a legitimate shot to sign Lester has grown over the last 24 hours, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Just a week ago, they felt like they were a longshot in the chase.
4:16pm: Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe (on Twitter) hears that Lester has not eliminated the Red Sox. “Absolutely not,” a source said.
3:51pm: The Giants and Cubs seem to be the favorites, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets.
3:45pm: Lester’s agent Seth Levinson denies that his client has whittled his list down to two finalists, tweets Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. The team has also said it has not been informed of any decision on its bid, per Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald (via Twitter).
3:39pm: Free agent starter Jon Lester is choosing between the Cubs and Giants, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. Rosenthal does caution that a late change in the bidding could shake things up.
The other teams said to be amongst the last suitors for Lester are the Red Sox and Dodgers. Boston, of course, was the only team that the 30-year-old had played before until he was dealt to the Athletics at the 2014 trade deadline.
Lester’s choice could have wide-reaching ramifications for the broader market, to say nothing of the teams involved.