When one thinks back on Jon Lester‘s career, those thoughts will go back to his time with the Cubs and Red Sox. It makes sense since he spent the majority of his career with those franchises, winning three championships and making five All Star appearances. But that ignores his brief stops with three other franchises, including the Oakland A’s.
After an impressive 16 years in the majors, Lester has decided to call it a career. He announced his retirement on Wednesday following one final push for a postseason berth with the Cardinals.
Former Oakland A’s pitcher Jon Lester announces retirement
Lester had an impressive career overall. He posted a 200-117 record with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.278 WHiP, striking out 2488 batters with 892 walks over his 2740 innings. He won 15 or more games eight times and was a remarkably consistent arm. Lester was a key part of the Cubs breaking their World Series curse and bringing a championship to the North Side for the first time since 1908.
But Lester’s story cannot fully be told without his 11 games with the A’s. He was acquired from the Red Sox, along with Jonny Gomes, at the 2014 trade deadline for Yeonis Cespedes and a 2015 Competitive Balance Round B draft pick. Lester was one of several moves the A’s made to improve their pitching staff as they geared up for a postseason run.
He did his part in those 11 outings. Lester had just a 6-4 record, but he posted an excellent 2.35 ERA and a 1.070 WHiP in his 76.2 innings, striking out 71 batters with 16 walks. Unfortunately, he was unable to replicate that performance in the Wild Card Game, allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks as the A’s eventually fell to the Royals.
As expected, Lester departed after the season. He signed a massive contract with the Cubs, rejoining his former general manager Theo Epstein in an attempt to bring a championship to Chicago. They succeeded just one year later, cementing both of their legacies.
Jon Lester has decided to call it a career after 16 seasons. While he spent most of his career elsewhere, his story cannot be told without the Oakland A’s.