Former Cubs ace Jon Lester announces retirement

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(670 The Score) Former Cubs ace Jon Lester is calling it a career.

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Lester, 38, has decided to retire after 16 MLB seasons, he told ESPN.

“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 pitched with the Red Sox for nine seasons before joining the Cubs on a six-year, $155-million contract ahead of the 2015 season. Lester had a career 3.66 ERA and made his biggest mark in the playoffs, where he had a career 2.51 ERA over 26 appearances, including 22 starts. Lester played a key role on the Red Sox winning titles in 2007 and 2013 and then helped the Cubs break their long championship drought with a championship in 2016.

Lester was second in the National League Cy Young race in 2016, when he went 19-5 with a 2.44 ERA. He was a five-time All-Star.

While Lester expressed interest in returning to the Red Sox in an interview with WEEI.com following his six-year stint with Chicago that ended after the 2020 season, the lefty never found his way back to the Boston. His last season was split between Washington and St. Louis.