The Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly have "serious interest" in free-agent left-hander Jon Lester.
The Dodgers would be a late entrant among the teams reportedly interested in signing Lester, who spent the second half of last season with the Oakland Athletics after eight-plus with the Boston Red Sox. Earlier this week, it was reported that Lester would will likely choose a team before the end of this week.
With Lester reportedly eyeing the Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants and the Red Sox, WEEI reported Wednesday that not only are the Dodgers seriously interested in Lester, they also have "the resources to make a hard, late charge." WEEI also cites one source saying the Dodgers' late interest in Lester could be akin to the New York Yankees' pursuit of Mark Teixeira in 2008, when the team swooped in late and exceeded previous offers with an eight-year, $180 million in December of that offseason.
Lester posted a 2.46 ERA last season with 220 strikeouts and 48 walks over 219.2 innings, earning his first All-Star appearance since 2011. The Red Sox traded him, along with outfielder Jonny Gomes, to the A's before the July 31 non-waiver deadline, for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes..
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier this week that some sources believe the Cubs have offered Lester a six-year, $138 million deal, with the Red Sox having "at least a willingness" to offer $130 million.
The Dodgers have 2014 National League MVP and Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw atop their rotation with Zack Greinke No. 2. WEEI suggests Greinke's six-year, $147 million contract could be the "opening framework" for Lester's deal. Even with two All-Star pitchers atop the rotation, the Dodgers would still benefit from adding additional starting pitching depth.
MLB's annual Winter Meetings will run from Dec. 7-11 in San Diego.
- Mike Fiammetta