Jon Lester informed the Giants he would not sign with them shortly after 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday night.
About four hours later, news broke that the three-time All-Star elected to sign a six-year, $155 million deal with the Cubs.
Minutes after the announcement, several reports indicated that San Francisco would have given Lester a seven-year contract if he wanted to head west.
Is that true?
"No," Giants assistant GM Bobby Evans told KNBR 680-AM on Wednesday morning. "They did ask for that actually. That, in their minds, was the difference maker that would help finish the deal in San Francisco versus somewhere else.
"We just weren't willing to do it."
Question: For the record, do you think you could have had him if you went to 168 (million)?
Evans: Well, they never specified what the amount would need to be, but there was a strong indication that, and it wasn't a commitment but a strong indication, that if we went to the seventh year, or any team would go to the seventh year, that could be the difference in acquiring the player, yes. We couldn't get over that hump, we couldn't feel comfortable doing it.
Question: It had been reported that it seems that the California tax had played a role into this. How much do you think that played a role in Lester's decision?
Evans: It's hard to say. I'm sure it was a factor. I think that there's a way to evaluate these deals on some level of even-playing field from a tax. They could have asked, 'Hey, even it out by being at this level and we're good.'
That was never asked for. There was a strong lean in the end, I think, towards going toward the familiar...
Question: Were you guys really upset?
Evans: It's just part of business. Whenever you're in these discussions, you're circling around in other options as well, so I think that we were prepared, even when we went into it that we weren't going to be a front runner.
And so I think we went into it realistically. It is a huge investment, a huge commitment. Again, for ownership to make that commitment is a lot about their desire to win and their desire to keep us on top and we just have to go after the next guy.