According to CBS reporter Jon Heyman, free agent starting pitcher Jon Lester has several contract offers on the table with the high bids, so far, coming it at seven years and $175 million.
Regardless of their position on St. Louis native Max Scherzer, those eye-popping numbers could prevent the St. Louis Cardinals from getting involved on a top tier starting pitcher.
Scherzer is widely expected to be the top starter on the market so, if Lester is a $175 million pitcher, it's not difficult to imagine the right-handed Cy Young Award winner would command something in the $200 million plus range.
The Cardinals wouldn't pay that sort of cash to keep Albert Pujols, the team's greatest player of the last five decades. So do we believe that they'd spend that sort of cash on a pitcher who only plays every fifth day?
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Even if Scherzer were to offer the Redbirds a hometown discount, the retail number is going to be so high that a reasonable mark down will still likely be beyond what St. Louis is willing to pay.
Still, reports circulated Monday that they Cardinals are, in fact, interested in Scherzer and that some of the team's players have been on a recruiting drive, calling the St. Louis native to tell him how great it would be to pitch for the Redbirds.
I'd love to see it happen because I am concerned about Adam Wainwright's elbow and the Cardinals, for all their depth, don't have another potential ace on the roster. If Lester signs with the Dodgers or the Giants, the winning bidder is going to have a very imposing rotation that will make the St. Louis group of starting pitchers appear very puny beyond Wainwright.