The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a one-year contract with three-time World Series Champion and five-time All-Star left-handed pitcher Jon Lester on Wednesday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Lester, 37, joins the Nationals after six seasons with the Chicago Cubs in which he went 77-44 with a 3.64 ERA in 171 starts. He won double-digit games and made at least 31 regular season starts in five of the six seasons (2015-19).
Lester ranks among active pitchers in wins (3rd, 193), games started (3rd, 423), strikeouts (6th, 2,397), home runs per 9.0 innings (7th, 0.93), strikeouts per 9.0 innings (10th, 8.30) and ERA (11th, 3.60). He leads active left-handed pitchers in wins (193) and ranks third in strikeouts (2,397). Lester is seven wins shy of becoming the 30th left-handed pitcher in Major League history to record at least 200 career wins.
A veteran of 26 Postseason games (22 starts), Lester is 9-7 with a 2.51 ERA in the Postseason. His nine wins rank third among active pitchers, while his 2.51 ERA ranks seventh. Lester was named the 2016 National League Championship Series co-MVP after posting a 1.38 ERA (2 ER/13.0 IP) in two starts. He is 4-1 with a 1.77 ERA (7 ER/35.2 IP) in six games (five starts) in the World Series (2007, 2013, 2016).
Since the start of the 2016 season, Lester has 55 starts of at least 6.0 innings and one or fewer earned runs allowed, the third-most in Major League Baseball during that span behind only Jacob deGrom (60) and Justin Verlander (58).
From 2008 – his first full season in the Major Leagues – to 2019, Lester was the only pitcher to start at least 30 games in each of the 12 seasons. In 15 big league seasons, he is 193-111 with a 3.60 ERA, 15 complete games and four shutouts across 424 games (423 starts) since 2006.
In 2020, Lester made all 12 starts, going 3-3 with a 5.16 ERA and 42 strikeouts. He opened the season with a 1.06 ERA (2 ER/17.0 IP) through his first three starts and held opponents to a .117 average (7-for-60).
The Nationals now have 38 players on their 40-man roster. Please see attached document for an updated roster.