Cubs Officially Decline Jon Lester’s Option, Claim Max Schrock Off Waivers, Assign Rex Brothers to AAA

The Cubs have officially declined Jon Lester‘s $25 million option for 2021 on Friday, leaving them on the hook for a $10 million buyout that has already counted toward their competitive balance tax payroll figures the last six seasons. In what felt like a ceremonial goodbye, Lester offered to buy a Miller Lite for anyone who went to one of a handful of Chicago bars and asked to put it on Jon’s tab.

No word on whether the Tribune’s Phil Rogers bitched about not getting a shot to go along with it. The possibility exists that the team and the venerable southpaw can work out a new deal, perhaps with a salary structure similar to what Adam Wainwright had with the Cardinals in 2019.

“The feeling is mutual on both sides that we want to try to get something done,” Lester said Friday.

That wasn’t the only personnel decision on the day, as the Cubs also claimed infielder Max Schrock off waivers from the Cardinals. The 26-year-old batted .275 with 20 doubles, a triple, two home runs, 31 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 85 games for Triple-A Memphis in 2019 before making his major league debut with St. Louis last season, hitting .176 (3-for-17) with a home run in 11 games.

The Cubs also outrighted lefty reliever Rex Brothers to Triple-A Iowa. With these moves, the 40-man roster now stands at 31 players.

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