Free agent Jon Lester spends $47K on beers for Chicago fans in possible farewell

CHICAGO -- If free-agent hurler Jon Lester has pitched his last game for the Chicago Cubs, he's going out on a high note with the fans. Lester, 36, bought beers for patrons over Halloween weekend at four Chicago bars, tweeting out his tab, which included a 34% tip, the same number he wore on his uniform.

Lester spent $47,094.90 between Friday and Sunday, which included $31,082.63 on Miller Lites and $16,012.27 in gratuity.

His Monday tweet comes on the fourth anniversary of the Cubs winning the World Series for the first time in 108 years. Lester was the co-MVP of the NLCS that October.

"Was kind of brainstorming on what we wanted to do [for the fans]," Lester said on ESPN 1000 in Chicago on Friday. "Couple buddies and I were talking and we seemed to always come back to this."

Lester is considered one of the best free-agent signings the city has ever had. He left more money on the table to sign a six-year, $155 million deal with the Cubs before the 2015 season. He helped them to a World Series championship the following season.

"Since Day 1 it's been awesome to be a part of," Lester said. "They have made my family feel like family and accepted us from the beginning. It's been a fun ride, and hopefully the ride is not over."

The Cubs turned down a $25 million option on his contract over the weekend, but the sides say there is still a chance he could return on a lesser deal. Lester has publicly stated he wants to win his 200th career game as a Cub; he needs just seven more victories.

"I know there is some doubt as far as the money that's out there, but I would like to think we can definitely get this thing done," Lester said. "I think it's going to be a long offseason for everybody."

Lester won 77 games for the Cubs in six years but had a 5.16 ERA in the shortened 2020 season. He's been a postseason stalwart, compiling a career 2.51 ERA.