Monday December 8th, 2014

Free-agent pitcher Jon Lester is expected to choose a team "no earlier than [Monday night], no later than [Tuesday]," according to Buster Olney of ESPN. Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports the decision is "looking like" it will come on Tuesday.

The San Francisco Giants reportedly met with Lester's agent, Seth Levinson, Sunday night in hopes of getting a deal done this week. Boston Red Sox owner John Henry also reportedly flew to Atlanta to talk with Lester on Friday.

MLB's winter meetings began Monday in San Diego, where a flurry of trades and free-agent movement typically occur.

Madison Bumgarner is SI's '14 Sportsman

Lester, 31, has been linked to the Giants, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals this offseason, among others. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported Friday that multiple teams have offered Lester deals in the range of $130-$140 million, and while the Red Sox's offer is "seen as maybe a bit lower," they are "favored" to land the left-hander.

The Cubs also reportedly offered Lester a contract worth more than $135 million last month, according to CSN Chicago.

The Dodgers were the last team to enter the race for Lester last week, but reportedly have "serious interest" in signing him.

Report: Padres, Red Sox have discussed Cespedes, Kennedy trade

Lester went 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA last season, splitting time with the Oakland Athletics and Red Sox after Oakland traded him before the July 31 non-waiver deadline in a deal for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Over 219.2 innings, Lester recorded 220 strikeouts and 48 walks.

Mike Fiammetta

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