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Cardinals face stiff competition for Lester

If the St. Louis Cardinals are truly interested in trying to sign starting pitcher Jon Lester, it doesn't look like they're going to get a bargain.

According to multiple reports, the Chicago Cubs have officially made the former Boston Red Sox ace a contract offer in the range of $135 million. Boston is said to have an offer that remains on the table despite the signing of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez and the San Francisco Giants, who saved about $100 when Sandoval defected to the Red Sox, are reported to want to spend that money towards adding Lester.

Meanwhile, St. Louis is said to be scheduled to meet with Lester after Thanksgiving. But I wonder if the team is going to be willing to make an investment of around $150 million for 6-7 years on a 30-year-old pitcher. Because it seems like it's going to take at least that amount to land Lester.

Former Cardinals outfielder Chris Duncan on Tuesday said on ESPN Radio that he believes the Redbirds have genuine interest in Lester. He said Lester is preferable to St. Louis native Max Scherzer because the former has several effective pitches which will allow him to remain competitive as he ages. Duncan said Scherzer relies on his 96-mph fastball heavily and as he ages and loses velocity it is likely he'll no longer be an elite pitcher.