Jon Lester retires after 16 MLB seasons with the Red Sox and Cubs
Jon Lester’s 16-year MLB career is over.
Lester told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers that his body can no longer take a full season.
“It’s kind of run its course,” Lester added. “It’s getting harder for me physically. The little things that come up throughout the year turned into bigger things that hinder your performance.”
Lester had time with the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals, and Washington Nationals. He was an All-Star five times and finished second in the Cy Young voting four times, including in 2016.
Lester was drafted by the Red Sox in the second round in 2002. His rookie season took a drastic turn at the conclusion of the year when he was diagnosed with cancer after complaining of back pain.
Lester returned to the Red Sox late in the 2007 season after receiving chemotherapy. In Game 4 of the 2007 World Series, he got his first playoff start. He pitched 5.2 shutout innings to help the Red Sox win the series 4-3.
Lester spent his first nine years with Boston before being dealt to the A’s in July 2014. He helped Oakland into the playoffs, but they were defeated by the Kansas City Royals in the wild card game.
Lester joined the Cubs as a free agent that winter. Il re-joined Chicago for a six-year, $155 million agreement to reconnect with former Boston frontman Theo Epstein.
Lester was a key player in the Cubs’ 2016 World Series success. He was 3-1 with a 2.02 ERA and 30 K’s in 35.2 innings. On two days rest, he relieved in Game 7 of the World Series versus Cleveland.
Lester’s career ended in 2016, despite an All-Star appearance and a ninth-place finish in Cy Young voting two years later.
The Cardinals traded Lester to the Nationals midway through the 2021 season.
Tossing 2,740 innings, Lester finished 200-117, 3.66 ERA, with 2,488 strikeouts.