Say hey, baseball: Jon Lester is a Cub and Max Scherzer will be rich
Wednesday morning’s baseball includes Jon Lester’s new home, Max Scherzer’s new demands, and more from the winter meetings.
Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage, and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day, and trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk isn’t easy. It’s okay, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end.
First the rumors appeared that Jon Lester wasn’t interested in a seven-year, $175 million offer, which everyone assumed belonged to the Dodgers. Then, in quick succession, we learned that the Giants were officially out of it courtesy San Francisco’s assistant general manager Bobby Evans, and that the Dodgers were also out of the mix. It was down to Lester’s former team, the Red Sox, and the one run by his old bosses, the Cubs. As industry insiders had been predicting Tuesday, Lester ended up with Chicago for six years and $155 million.
The Cubs jumped on what’s next before they even picked up Lester officially, trading for catcher Miguel Montero and the entire $40 million he was still owed by the Diamondbacks. They’re rumored to be chasing Lester’s favorite catcher, David Ross, though even after finishing second for the southpaw, the Sox are still after Ross to be their backup backstop, too.
Giants’ general manager Brian Sabean says his team never got to make their final offer for Lester, which is probably not something he should be saying out loud since it makes it sound as if he wasn’t aware that was a thing he should be doing. Lester’s decision was supposed to come last week, then on Monday, then on Tuesday, and it dragged into Wednesday as far as Chicago and Boston are concerned. Show some hustle, Sabes.
The Red Sox need pitching, but that doesn’t mean they should panic and give the Phillies whatever they want for Cole Hamels. There are other options out there, even if not all of them are aces. One thing we know they won’t do is give Max Scherzer the $200 million guaranteed he’s looking for, something only Clayton Kershaw has managed before, but someone will. It might end up being more like $180 million with an option to bring it to $200 million, like Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander have come close to or done, but he’ll get paid by someone.
- Speaking of Scherzer, Cardinals players are trying to recruit the Missouri native, but they might also have to pay for him given St. Louis’ non-infinite budget.
- The Tigers have some holes to fill, and Bless You Boys wonders if trading Ian Kinsler will help fill them.
- Rays’ owner Stu Sternberg is threatening to sell the team to someone who will move it out of the Tampa Bay region if he can’t find a suitable stadium site, and this might have merit to it since the Rays have finally bought out of their lease on Tropicana Field. The city of Montreal waits for their moment to strike.
- The Reds want to clear $17 million in payroll, and are willing to deal super closer Aroldis Chapman or ace Johnny Cueto to help do it. At the same time, they’re talking to the Red Sox about a Yoenis Cespedes trade, which doesn’t quite make sense with the cost-cutting initiative.
- The Rangers added NFL star Russell Wilson to their Triple-A roster in order to protect him from the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 draft on Thursday. Actual baseball player Brett Anderson had brief but expressive thoughts on this.
- The White Sox are going for it and the A’s are… well, they’re something. They’re selling but threatening that they might add, too. Is Billy Beane a genius, or just bored? Possibly both.
- While we’re on the subject of weird A’s trades, adding Brandon Moss means the Indians are in line to make additional moves.
- The Giants won’t give Chase Headley a four-year deal, while the Astros are not high on him. Fine, be that way, Astros.
- Dodgers’ general manager Farhan Zaidi is just going to deny everything anyway, but the Dodgers and Padres are still talking Matt Kemp trade, and it could happen today. Or tomorrow. Or never. It’s Matt Kemp, so really, who knows.
- Madison Bumgarner is kind of a strange dude. Also, he once dated a woman named Madison Bumgarner that he is pretty sure he is not related to.