Jon Lester is set to return to the Saint-Louis Cardinals in 2022.
When the St. Louis Cardinals acquired Jon Lester, the immediate reaction was “Huh? And utter confusion. The decision to acquire Lester, a pitcher in his 30s who had struggled in 2021, made little sense.
But Lester has become one of the Cardinals’ most reliable pitchers since his acquisition on July 30, posting a 4.30 ERA in eight starts. However, he’s saved his best work from his last six starts, allowing two runs or less in five of those starts – and the team going 4-2 in those outings.
Lester, 37, isn’t set to play in 2022, but if he decides to play another season he’s set to return to the Cardinals, according to Zachary Silver of MLB.com.
The Cardinals will be in the market to start kicking off this offseason and after his strong performances, Lester must be among the players they consider. He would order a one-year contract worth around $ 2-3 million a year, but the Cardinals might prefer to give that rotation spot to a young prospect (Matthew Liberatore?) Or an internal option. different (Alex Reyes?).
So, despite his interest in returning to St. Louis, there’s a good chance Lester will make his final starts with the Cardinals. And if this is the case, better not to spoil your outings. He’s been their unnamed top pitcher Adam Wainwright and in Lester’s last two outings the Cardinals have either taken a big lead or haven’t scored enough points.
For a team on the playoff bubble, that just can’t happen. The Cardinals only have three, maybe four more outings from Lester to correct that. But their struggles in his last two starts could be the difference between them and miss the playoffs.
“He’s been in big games before and nothing is too big for him, so it’s always nice to have that calming presence on the mound,” said Nolan Arenado. “I hope he continues to keep us in baseball games and I hope we can reward him for them too.”