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Chicago Notes: Lester, Fowler, Jackson, Flowers, Abreu

The six-year, $155MM contract that Jon Lester signed this offseason is paying off nicely for the Cubs, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. While the notion that that Cubs wouldn’t be in contention without Lester seems extreme, there’s no denying the strong on-field results he’s delivered, and as Wittenmyer points out, that’s particularly important due to the rotation uncertainty beyond Lester and Jake Arrieta (both Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks have struggled in the second half). Manager Joe Maddon spoke with Wittenmyer about the stabilizing force Lester has been atop the rotation, along with Arrieta, and the importance of the tone they set for younger starters.

A few more notes from the Windy City…

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