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Free agent starter Jon Lester called the Giants on Tuesday evening to inform them that he would not be signing with them.
Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans addressed the left-hander's decision with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's Ahmed Fareed at the MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego.
"It was at 5:20, I spoke with the agent. At about 5:40, Jon Lester called and I know he spoke with Boch and Brian (Sabean) and let us know of his decision, that's he's still continuing the process, but wanted to let us know of our status in the process," Evans said.
[RELATED: Giants eliminated from Lester sweepstakes]
While Evans and the Giants are disappointed to not get Lester, they understand his decision.
"It's tough to not be able to bring him here. But at the same time, with the Cubs and the Red Sox really tugging at his heartstrings, it gave us comfort knowing he's going some place he has some deep relationships, and we understand that. We're exploring other options, in terms of what we'll do on the pitching front because that's our top priority," Evans said.
Evans was asked if the Giants' offer to Lester was competitive with the Cubs and Red Sox.
"The agent was clear, we were right where everyone else. Whether something changes between now and when he makes a decision, I don't know, but we're right where the other guys are. It's a decisicon he's making with his heart and his commitments and relationships elsewhere," Evans said.
With Lester out of the picture, where do the Giants turn?
"We'll explore our options. We already have a pecking order of where we want to start. Rather than share that, I'll just say we're going to be open-minded," Evans said.
Earlier on Tuesday, a USA Today report linked the Giants to the Braves and a possible deal surrounding left fielder Justin Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson. Evans was quick to downplay that rumor.
"Atlanta is focused elsewhere. We did discuss that last week, some of their thoughts on deals. But again, a lot of things have been through out there. That's probably not a target right now," Evans concluded.