Jon Lester, who helped the Chicago Cubs win the World Series in 2016, is retiring after a 16-year career.
The 38-year-old told ESPN that his body is no longer able to meet the demands of a major league season. Lester, a five-time All-Star, also won two World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox in 2007 and 2013.
“It’s kind of run its course,” Lester told ESPN. “It’s getting harder for me physically. The little things that come up throughout the year turned into bigger things that hinder your performance.
“I’d like to think I’m a halfway decent self-evaluator. I don’t want someone else telling me I can’t do this anymore. I want to be able to hand my jersey over and say, ‘Thank you, it’s been fun.’ That’s probably the biggest deciding factor.”
Lester signed a six-year, $155 million deal with the Cubs in 2014, then helped them advance to the NLCS the following season. In 2016, he played a major role in the Cubs ending a 108-year championship drought. He shared NLCS MVP honors with Javier Baez, and started Games 1 and 5 in the World Series then pitched in relief in Game 7.
Selected in the second round (No. 57 overall) in the 2002 MLB Draft by Boston, Lester was 200-117 with a 3.66 ERA and 2,488 strikeouts in his career. He played for Boston (2006-14), Oakland Athletics (2014), Chicago (2015-20), Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals (2021).
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