Say hey, baseball: Jon Lester needs to make a decision
Tuesday’s baseball brings you the latest from the Lester saga, the White Sox’ retooling, and more on Melky.
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Someday, Jon Lester won’t be the primary angle for this column. The problem is that until he makes his decision on where he is signing, he’s the huge story, because everything else is waiting on him. Well, almost everything, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
The Giants made their pitch to Lester with a little help from catcher Buster Posey. None of the other teams chasing him can show off an established catcher as good as Posey — not offensively, not defensively — so that might be the kind of thing that tips the scales in the Giants’ favor. In fact, depending on who you ask, Lester’s decision is already between the Giants and the Cubs, leaving the Red Sox and the Dodgers behind. The problem with that Lester still had to have what were supposed to be his final meetings with both Boston and Los Angeles, so while the Giants and Cubs might have been in the lead at that moment, it simply could have been a matter of scheduling.
In fact, now that he’s seen all four teams recently, word is that he has an offer of six years and around $150 million from all four of them. Even if the dollars aren’t exactly equal, they might be in Lester’s eyes for a couple of reasons: for one, he’s said he’s not looking to take the most money, he’s looking for where he thinks he’ll enjoy the next six years the most. Second, Lester’s agents tend to set different price goals for different teams, and consider an offer worthy if the team reaches their individualized goal. The Dodgers’ target amount could have been $155 million or so, the Cubs $145 million, the Red Sox $148 million, etc.: we won’t know until we hear what each team actually offered, but we do know all four are close to Lester’s reported $150 million target.
Phil Rogers from MLB.com, formerly of the Chicago Tribune, believes the Cubs have the best chance at Lester based on what he knows of the situation, followed by the Giants, Red Sox, and Dodgers. We’ll find out later on Tuesday if he’s right. Or hey, maybe on Wednesday, because this hasn’t gone on quite long enough yet.
- The White Sox and Athletics aren’t waiting on Lester’s decision, and it’s resulting in prized trade chip Jeff Samardzija getting traded to Chicago.
- The White Sox didn’t stop there, adding closer David Robertson on a four-year, $40 million deal in the middle of the night. They still need help on the position player side, but Chicago has some serious pitching now.
- Shark wasn’t the A’s only trade of the day, as they also sent Brandon Moss to the Indians in exchange for sort-of prospect Joey Wendle. Oakland fans are wondering what’s next for their team, which has quickly dismantled but also added Billy Butler for some reason.
- The Royals are considering pulling a James Shields 2.0 by adding what remains of Justin Upton’s contract to their lineup. Hey, it worked one glorious time, and they desperately need offense.
- The Brewers could also use some help, and Brew Crew Ball wonders if their team is still interested in Allen Craig, and if the Red Sox would be interested in trading him.
- Why are the Cardinals trying to give John Lackey more money when they have him signed for the league minimum?
- The Mariners are the favorites for Melky Cabrera, and Lookout Landing will explain to you just how he fits in Seattle’s lineup.
- The Hall of Fame’s Golden Era Committee is useless, and as useless institutions tend to do, accomplished nothing in their latest vote.
- Grumpy Cat’s earnings report turned out to be fake, but that won’t stop us from imagining a world where it’s real, a world where we can compare a cat’s take home to that of major athletes.
- Baseball Reference has turned Santa’s reindeer into baseball players with stats and bios and everything.