Jon Lester will go down as one of the most successful free agent signings in Cubs history, right there next to Andre Dawson. So you better believe Lester’s number will be raised up high above one of the foul poles when big No. 34 retires one day. That’s sort of crazy to think, too, because it was only a few years ago that many were wondering whether Lester was worth the $155 million contract he signed prior to the 2015 season.
He was. He is. That much has become quite obvious over the last four years.
According to FanGraphs’ RA9 and their $8 million per WAR estimate, Lester has been worth approximately $135 million two-thirds of the way through his six-year deal. That means Lester has already generated the equivalent value of over 87 percent of his guaranteed money, and that’s without even factoring in the World Series title and the way his signing fully legitimized what Theo Epstein’s front office had been building. And he still has two years to go.
So when we give thanks on Thursday, please be sure to reserve more than a little gratefulness for the living legend that is Jon Lester.