- Jon Lester (Chicago Cubs)
Lester is one of three pitchers on this list that I believe will greatly benefit from a move to the designated hitter-less National League (Shields, Scherzer). Lester has been a name known across the league for many years, but it wasn’t until his ninth year that I thought he was a top-10 pitcher.
Lester’s underwhelming ERA of 3.76 in his first eight years was erased, in my mind, after a 2.46 ERA in 2014 with two separate teams (2.52 with Red Sox, 2.35 with Athletics).
I said earlier that David Price was a winner, but even he isn’t on the level of Lester. Lester has won 116 games in his nine MLB seasons. He has pitched six seasons with at least 15 wins and has had a win percentage under .590 only once (9-14 in 2012). In one of the best stories in baseball, Lester closed out a World Series win for the Boston Red Sox in 2007, just two months after being diagnosed with Lymphoma.
Lester should see another All-Star game this year, and could potentially lead the Cubs to their first playoff berth since 2008.