2014 Winter Meetings Day 2
8:51 PM CST: Gordo, unsurprisingly, couldn't have been more off as Lester has called the Giants and let them know he won't be signing there. All indications are as earlier, it's between the Red Sox and Cubs. MLB Network had a report that Lester's agents had a meeting scheduled with Lester again tonight. However... whomever @BaseballEssential is, they are claiming lots of buzz that Lester is signing with Cubs, but nothing official yet.
If Cubs lose out on Lester, Morosi is reporting that Boras is seeking $200M guaranteed contract.
7:35 PM CST: Just kidding about all that Giants out of it nonsense, Gordo has a source saying Lester is leaning towards Giants now. ~shrug~
6:30 PM CST: Theo claims they are not shopping Welington and that Montero will be a good compliment to him. "We're not shopping (Castillo) at all. The second that the Montero news came out, we got calls from a number of teams about Wely." Of course, just cause they're not shopping him, doesn't mean they won't move him if one of those calls bears fruit.
5:00 PM CST: You're not a good agent until you're squeezing every last dollar out. Oy vey!
4:15 PM CST: On that Ross note, Cubs have a meeting with him tonight.
3:36 PM CST: Jeff Passan says the Cubs will indeed look to move Welington Castillo. Well, 38-year old David Ross was pretty good against lefties last year as well (.809 OPS in 67 PA's, .770 for his career). Of course, if he's Lester's personal catcher, won't be able to take advantage of the offensive split.
3:06 PM CST: Montero deal is done pending a physical. D'Backs get Jeferson Mejia and Zack Godley. That seems absurdly reasonable. Neat. The 20-year old Mejia can certainly end up being quite good, but you have to give up something to get something. And he wasn't anyone, nor was Godley that was anywhere near a top 20 prospect list at this point. The 25-year old Godley has a real nice K rate, but was a bit old for the Hi-A league last year (ages are what their baseball playing age will be next season using the July 1st cutoff).
2:52 PM CST: Giants assistant GM was on the radio and said Lester told him that top dollar will not be the deciding factor and that "heartstrings" are pulling at him. Sounds like a reunion with the Red Sox, unless there's more to his relationship with Theo and Jed that we don't know about it. AZ Phil nailed it in the comments, that Jeferson Mejia would be one of the pitchers heading to the D'Backs for Montero.
1:43 PM CST: The Cubs have "ratcheted up their offer" for Montero and a deal seems close.
The big rumor last night was that the Cubs were well along on a deal for Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero and Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the deal should be done by the end of the day. The Cubs would take on Montero's contract (3/40M) and DBacks would get 2 low level pitchers, presumably of good quality, but not CJ Edwards quality. The debate rages on if the Cubs should bother with Montero, afterall he's owed some money, he'll be playing his age 31 season next year and his OPS has been south of .700 the last 2 seasons. But we do know the Cubs want some vet leadership on the team and the catching position is where they want it, add in that Montero hits from the left side and has good on-base skills and you can see some of the interest. One other thing to note, his splits versus lefties and righties. He had a .719 OPS in 2013 .735 in 2014 versus righties, but just a .492 in 2013 and .563 in 2014 versus lefties. On the other side, Welington is a .684 vs. righties for his career and .845 versus lefties. Let's say I'd like that a platoon if it works out. Maybe the Cubs go with a Montero/Ross platoon if this all happens, but I don't know if they need 2 vet catchers.
Also of note, DBacks ownership already nixed a deal of Andre Ethier for Montero, although no reasons were given. Did they not want to trade Montero within the division, did they want to just shave payroll in a Montero deal or do they just not want to move him? I doubt it's the latter, otherwise their GM would stop shopping him in deals, but regardless, there's probably a final obstacle even if they do agree on a deal.
- The White Sox acquired Jeff Samardzija and former international signing bonus baby Michael Ynoa from the A's for 4 players: INF Marcus Semien, RHP Chris Bassitt, C Josh Phegley and 1B Rangel Ravalo. The White Sox weren't done there, as they then signed reliever David Robertson to a 4/46M deal. I don't know if the White Sox have completely closed the gap between themselves and the Tigers, Royals and Indians, but they have made some nice moves this offseason. The Robertson deal is dumb, don't get me wrong, but I don't think he's a guy that's going to just fall off a performance cliff either and I guess if you have the money and have determined you're going all in next year, that's the kind of deal you make. Sale, Samardzija, Quintana, Danks and Noesi is a pretty nice looking rotation for sure.
- Looks like Francisco Liriano is headed back to the Pirates on a 3/39M deal.
Dolorous Jon Lester 4 hours 16 min ago (view)
Lame. He was intriguing
crunch 6 hours 25 min ago (view)
cubs release matt dermody...he's heading to japan.
Cubster 15 hours 39 min ago (view)
and they are including amusement tax, healthcare costs (Doc Adams doesn't come cheap!), social security and political donations to the City and the Governor of Nebraska.
bradsbeard 16 hours 4 min ago (view)
It all depends what you count as "payroll." If you include the $11M in Lester and Descalso's buyouts plus the $3M sent in the Darvish trade you get to somewhere like $145M. If you include the $15M in estimated share of player benefits, you get to $160M. I think that last year, including player benefits, they were slated to be up around $205M for MLB payroll before the pandemic.
crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
not sure, but i think it's around 130-135m right now even with bryant/baez/contreras still on board...including the 3m to set darvish free and other random $$ expenses on the roster.
tack on another 3-4m for happ when that gets settled....plus other odds/ends that have a chance to make the roster (s.miller, a.morgan, j.holder, etc) and other pre-arbitration guys...
cubs still need someone to back up contreras (if he sticks around, which i wouldn't be surprised to see him stick around)...not sure if taylor gushue is gonna be that guy and m.amaya is too young.
George Altman 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
Seriously, what's the 2021 payroll number? Currently at approximately $165M and after they trade Bryant, Baez, & Contreras - $130M. Is that it, $135-140M.
crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
Q to the angels...supposedly 1/8m
crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
pete ricketts (the governor of Nebraska ricketts) is a key part of an anti-gambling Nebraska group called "Gambling With The Good Life" that actively lobbied their open legislature...including a speech by pete...to keep gambling illegal in Nebraska.
he last spoke for the group to the state government in-session 3 months ago.
...it's also worth mentioning all of this is separate from the Draft Kings/Wrigley Field deal that flew under the radar toward the end of the season that will put a sportsbook directly in wrigley field, itself.
Charlie 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
Of all the things, why does this most make me want to punch
Cubster 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
I thought the Cubs had lost a rising star in Porter, seems the just got lucky with him leaving the organization.
crunch 2 days 1 hour ago (view)
jared porter...damn dude...mets gm, ex cubs director of scouting...
crunch 2 days 5 hours ago (view)
cubs freeing up that chatwood + lester loot sure did help...wait...sigh.
Cubster 2 days 5 hours ago (view)
Plus Chatwood signing w Bluejays is done.
crunch 2 days 6 hours ago (view)
...and done. 1 year deal with a mutual option.
Cubster 2 days 7 hours ago (view)
Dolorous in discussions with the Washington Schwarbs.