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Dodgers lose out on Jon Lester, who signs with Cubs

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO -- The biggest deal of the winter meetings hasn't officially yet happened, but it won't involve the Dodgers. Free agent pitcher Jon Lester signed late Tuesday night with the Cubs for a reported $155 million over six years.

Earlier on Tuesday night Lester told the Giants they were out of the running for his services, per Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times cited a team source saying the Dodgers were out, which matched various other reports naming only Chicago and Boston as finalists.

The Dodgers were reportedly one of four teams to make an offer, along with the Red Sox and Giants, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports on Monday, all offers reportedly in the range of six years, $150 million. Jayson Stark of ESPN said on Tuesday that one of the teams was willing to give Lester seven years though that offer wasn't necessarily enough to close the deal.

Lester reportedly has a seventh year vesting option in his deal with Chicago.

On Monday, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was coy and wouldn't mention Lester by name nor acknowledge the teams' interest in the left-hander. Friedman did address the issue of pursuing multiple deals at once, especially at a setting like the winter meetings with 30 teams held captive in closed quarters the parameters could change rather quickly.

"The trickiest part of the offseason is the timing of moves. It almost doesn't matter what you ideally like to do," Friedman said. "Some things become hot that ideally you'd like to let simmer for a while. It's just deciding when to jump and when to exercise patience."

On Tuesday, general manager Farhan Zaidi said the club had no free agent signings to announce, but that the Dodgers would pursue another starting pitcher via free agency or trade.

"We're looking at several different options," Zaidi said. "We are in active dialogues on certain things where we could get things finished up in one phone call."

It is unclear whether the team will be in on free agents Max Scherzer or James Shields, both of whom would cost a draft pick, unlike Lester. But it is clear that the Dodgers will add at least one more starting pitcher, somehow.

"We definitely want to figure out how to add at least one more arm from the outside, whether that be via trade or free agency," Friedman said Monday. "Adding one more then continuing to be aggressive to augment our depth is really important to us."