Nationals' Jon Lester to Have Surgery to Remove Thyroid Gland

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIMarch 3, 2021

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester throws to a Chicago White Sox batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Washington Nationals starter Jon Lester is set for surgery to remove a thyroid gland.

According to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Wednesday that Lester will go to New York for the procedure and return to spring training in five to seven days.

The left-hander, who signed a one-year deal with the Nats in January, spent the past six seasons with the Chicago Cubs, winning a title with the team in 2016. 

The bulk of his career was spent with the Red Sox, where he won two World Series championships before he was dealt to the Oakland Athletics in 2014.

In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the five-time All-Star amassed a 5.16 ERA.

The longest stretch of time he missed came in the 2006-07 seasons, when he was diagnosed with lymphoma. He underwent chemotherapy in the offseason and returned to the team in July, eventually leading the team to a 2007 World Series Championship. 

In Washington, the 37-year-old is expected to assume a role in the back end of a rotation topped by Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin and Stephen Strasburg, with Erick Fedde and Joe Ross waiting in the wings.

The three-time World Series winner could prove to be a big signing for the Nationals, as they landed a 15-year veteran who owns a 193-111 record and 3.60 ERA in 424 career regular-season games.

Lester also boasts an impressive playoff resume with a 9-7 record, 2.51 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 26 career postseason outings.

Assuming Lester returns during the timetable provided by Martinez and is ready for the start of the regular season, he will provide necessary depth to Washington's rotation and play a role in helping the Nats get back to the form they displayed in 2019 when they won the World Series.