Cubs to intro Lester on Monday

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs will officially announce the signing of left-handed pitcher Jon Lester at a downtown news conference Monday afternoon.

When: 1 p.m. CT

Where: Spiaggia restaurant

The media-only event will be carried live by ESPN Radio 1000 as Lester signs the most lucrative contract in Cubs history. Former outfielder Alfonso Soriano signed for longer -- he had an eight-year deal -- in 2006, but the $155 million Lester is getting over six years is the most money ever the team has spent on one player in one deal.

Lester is 116-67 with a 3.58 ERA in his nine-year career, almost all of it coming with the Boston Red Sox.

Additionally, he’s 6-4 with a 2.57 ERA in the postseason, including a 3-0 record with a 0.43 ERA in three starts in World Series play.

The Cubs avoided giving up a draft pick in signing Lester because he was traded to the Oakland Athletics in the middle of last season. If he had finished the year with the Red Sox, the Cubs would have had to give Boston a second-round pick in next year’s draft. Under current rules, the Athletics receive no compensation for losing Lester in free agency.

Lester should anchor a rotation that includes Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, Kyle Hendricks and Travis Wood, though the Cubs have several other candidates for a rotation spot in case Wood is moved in a deal.

There's a good chance Lester's numbers will improve even more while pitching in the National League for the first time, as he'll face pitchers in the batter's box on a regular basis, plus the bottom of NL lineups are generally weaker than their counterparts in the American League. Arrieta, Hammel and Scott Feldman are recent Cubs pitchers who excelled coming, in particular, from the AL East to the NL Central.