Monday, December 8, 2014


By Michael Wong

San Diego, CA.--Things are going crazy here as the pitching market is getting ready to set itself.  The big talk tonight and most of the day Monday was the status of free agent ace SP Jon Lester.  Various reports have circulated that Lester will make his decision early on Tuesday and that it will be between the aggressive Chicago Cubs and intriguing San Francisco Giants.  The Oakland A's, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers continue to monitor the Lester sweepstakes but sources from all three teams say they won't match the money the Cubs and Giants are throwing the lefty's way. 

Once Lester signs his deal, the market is expected to open up wildly for James Shields and Max Scherzer, and to a lesser extent guys like Jason Hammel, Brandon Beachy, and Wei-Yin Chen.  Speaking of Hammel, he is expected to be brought back by the Cubs where he had a career year in 2014. 

-The Houston Astros lost out on Andrew Miller to the New York Yankees which burned the team badly according to a source who I spoke to directly.  The plan was for Miller to be the Astros' closer but now they want to get the Yankees back by giving David Robertson four-years and over $50 million.  The same source told me that money is no object when it comes to signing Robertson and the Yankees All-Star may have an impossible time turning down that kind of money.  Meanwhile the Yankees still want Robertson back badly as they want to pair him with Miller and Dellin Betances to create their own Kansas City Royals 7th-8th-and-9th inning dominance.

-The Royals are actually listening to some offers for All-Star closer Greg Holland but nothing is remotely past the initial stages.  The Royals would turn to either Kelvin Herrera for the ninth inning if a move was made.

-The Atlanta Braves look like they also will be center stage Tuesday as Justin Upton and Evan Gattis are getting a ton of attention.  The Upton talks are puzzling to many as he supplies precious power which is in very short supply in today's game.  Meanwhile as far as Gattis is concerned, he is being courted right now by the Texas Rangers for possible trade.

-The Cleveland Indians finally finished their talks with the Oakland A's for outfielder Brandon Moss and up next on the long-discusses spectrum is the Padres will Matt Kemp.  The Dodgers would give away Kemp if they could in order to open up a spot for Joc Pederson and clear his salary and the Padres are desperate for a big bat to complement their playoff-worthy rotation.  San Diego management is intent on getting Kemp and failing that Upton in the next few weeks.

-The Oakland A's for some reason want to move Jeff Samardzjia despite the fact he can be the ace of the staff.  The Chicago White Sox have continued dialogue with the A's and they are past the intitial phase according to a source.

-With Yasmany Tomas' deal now complete, the Arizona Diamondbacks will step up efforts to move Mark Trumbo.  In fact Trumbo was supposed to be in the original three-team deal with the Yankees and Tigers before things moved in another direction. 

-The Baltimore Orioles and Royals are both in on free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus who would supply some needed pop.  The Orioles are desperate for outfield help after losing both Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz.  Rasmus would be part 1 of their replacements at a decent price.

-Some names that have cropped up in talks today that was heard by yours truly is Angels SP C.J. Wilson and Indians 3B Carlos Santana. 

-Forgot to mention before that the Orioles and Rangers have discussed Justin Upton as well.

-The Yankees refuse to give Chase Headley over the top money and it is likely the two will part ways as the veteran 3B is being courted heavily by Giants and Astros.

-Jed Lowrie is a guy the New York Mets and once again Astros are discussing signing.

-With the Red Sox seemingly out of the Jon Lester talks, they will now focus heavily on Cole Hamles which I exclusively reported two weeks ago.

-Count on Troy Tulowitzki beginning the season in a Colorado Rockies uniform once again as no one wants to touch that money on his contract.  Plus ownership wants to keep him in town.


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