Jon Lester, Braves to meet

The Atlanta Braves will meet with free-agent left-hander Jon Lester this week, sources told ESPN's Buster Olney, and multiple reports say the meeting will take place Thursday.

Lester also met with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

Lester, 30, went 6-4 with a 2.35 ERA for the Oakland Athletics after he was acquired in a trade deadline deal with the Boston Red Sox in exchange for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Overall, Lester was 16-11 with a career-best 2.46 ERA in 2014.

He started for the A's in the American League wild-card game against the Kansas City Royals and left in the eighth inning with runners on first and second with one out and his team leading 7-4. The Royals won 9-8 in 12 innings.

Lester, who has an offseason home in the Atlanta area, is 6-4 and 2.57 ERA in 14 playoff appearances. He's been dominant in the World Series, where he is 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA in three starts, helping the Red Sox win two championships.

Lester, who has a career mark of 116-67 with a 3.58 ERA in nine seasons, rejected a four-year, $70 million contract extension offer from the Red Sox in the spring. He was paid $13 million last season.

By trading Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden to the Cardinals on Monday, the Braves shed what could have been as much as $10 million from next season's payroll.