Cubs' Lester says he nearly accepted free-agent pitch from Giants

Just think that Cubs starter Jon Lester could have been taking the hill at Wrigley Field on Friday as a member of the San Francisco Giants.

To Chicago's delight, he's wearing Cubs pinstripes and pitching in the friendly confines. But Lester admitted Wednesday that the Giants swooped in with a late pitch during free agency that nearly won him over.

"The Giants came to the house and really wowed me and my wife, and they became a real suitor for us after that meeting," Lester told the Chicago Tribune. "In the end, I'm glad I did get traded to Oakland (in July 2014) and did get to experience playing on the West Coast. It's just different. You're used to playing on the East Coast and come home after a game and watch more baseball. It's just different. It's something we had to adjust to. We just ended up liking Chicago more."

The former Red Sox was, of course, had a comfort level with his former general manager in Boston who was now running the Cubs, president Theo Epstein.

When Lester takes the mound Friday against the Giants, he'll be trying to reclaim the Cubs' lead for the second wild-card spot. Chicago and San Francisco have been jockeying for the spot over the last couple weeks, but after the Cubs lost at Pittsburgh and the Giants beat the Braves on Wednesday, San Francisco moved back in front by one-half game.

The lefty Lester is only 6-8 on the season, but he owns a 3.26 ERA. In his last outing he showed that perhaps the best is yet to come with 14 strikeouts in eight innings against the Colorado Rockies.

(h/t Chicago Tribune)