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Storylines: Lester deciding between Cubs and Red Sox

Storylines: Lester deciding between Cubs and Red Sox
Jon Lester (Photo: AP)
December 10, 2014
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Top Stories:

  • The Pirates resigned left-handed starter Francisco Liriano to a three-year $39 million deal.
  • The Jon Lester saga carried on Tuesday and he still has not made a decision on where he is going to sign. He did whittle down his list of teams to the Red Sox and Cubs as he personally contacted the Giants to let them know he was no longer considering them. The general feeling in the industry is he will sign with the Cubs and get a deal in the $150-160 million range for six years.
  • Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Padres and Dodgers are making progress on a deal that would send outfielder Matt Kemp to the Padres. The Mariners, Rangers and Orioles had been in the mix for Kemp but have since pulled out of talks.

Other News and Notes:

  • Rosenthal also says the Royals have made Omar Infante available in trade talks. If he were to be traded their interest in free agent infielder Asdrubal Cabrera would grow because he could fill in for the departure of Infante at second base.
  • Now that the Giants are out in the Lester sweepstakes they are turning their attention to filling other holes on the roster. One such possibility is a trade for Justin Upton.
  • The Orioles are no longer in the running for Matt Kemp in a trade, but they are aggressive in their search for an outfielder on the trade market. They have been linked to discussions with teams about Justin Upton,Marlon ByrdChris Denorfia, Johnny Gomes and Eduardo Encina.
  • According to reports, the Marlins are interested in free agent outfielder Michael Morse and trading for first baseman Justin Morneau.
  • The Red Sox and Rangers have made one year offers to right-hander Justin Masterson.
  • The Angels and Dodgers completed a deal on Tuesday as catcher Drew Butera was sent to the Angels in exchange for a player to be named later.
  • The Dodgers have made infielder Dee Gordon available in a trade and the Marlins are interested.
  • Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski refuted a report from Buster Olney of ESPN that the Tigers will intensify their efforts to resign Max Scherzer. During an interview on MLB Network, he went so far as to say that they did almost all they could in extension talks during spring training and that are moving on and are satisfied with their current rotation sans Scherzer.
  • According to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the Mets are considering several different trades involving right-hander Dillon Gee. The Rangers, Twins and Rockies are said to be interested.
  • The Blue Jays are looking at some bullpen help and have been in contact with relievers Pay Neshek, Luke Gregerson and Kyle Farnsworth.
  • The Rangers and Rockies are discussing a deal that would send Wilin Rosario to the Rangers.
  • The Red Sox and Phillies are discussing a deal where the Red Sox would send lefty reliever Antonio Bastardo to the Red Sox in exchange for Sean Coyle.
  • The Angels have signed 20-year old Cuban infielder Roberto Baldoquin to an $8 million bonus.

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

Homer
December 10, 2014 - 8:32 PM EST
Tondo, I disagree. Who do they have in RF? Steve Pearce? Seriously, I think Murphy for Matusz is a fair deal. It would save the Tribe about $3.8M, and create (more) depth.

Considering the Phillies traded Antonio Bastardo to the Pirates and only got minor league LH Joely Rodriguez in return, I think it would be a reasonable deal for them.

I really don't see Murphy as a salary dump guy. He's a good platoon player or fourth OF.
Tondo
December 10, 2014 - 5:26 PM EST
Homer, why would the Orioles want Murphy? If anything the Indians need to add $ and a prospect for a Murphy/Matusz swap. Straight swap would be a great deal for the Tribe, saving money and adding a useful LOOGY. If they get even more for Murphy, they would have done the deal yesterday
Homer
December 10, 2014 - 5:02 PM EST
The Orioles have reportedly had discussions with the Philiies (Byrd) and Pirates (Snider) about a deal to obtain a RF. Mlbtraderumors.com had a piece suggesting the Pirates and Orioles discussed a Snider for Matusz trade. Might the Indians be willing to trade Murphy for Matusz? Matusz has two yrs of control remaining, and projects to make $2.7M in arb. I'd flip them Murphy for Matusz and a prospect / International cash.

I think it makes sense bc it would fortify the Tribes bullpen and perhaps create a secondary deal with the bullpen depth. Say, Scrabble or Matusz for a SP prospect.
Homer
December 10, 2014 - 4:46 PM EST
Id like to see the Tribe make an aggressive play on Kang as a possible 3b/RF/UTL type.
Homer
December 10, 2014 - 4:44 PM EST
Not really interested in Gee, but Raburn and Scrabble would be about all I would do. He had a lat injury last yr, did return from it, but I'm not convinced his salary or production is better than say, Josh Tomlin.

Clay, posted in another thread that Jim Bowden says, Indians are after (interested) Brett Anderson. They reportedly had interest last offseason. Anderson has huge upside but rarely is healthy enough to take the mound. If they could get him on a lesser incentive laden deal I'm in.

As for trying to get Van Slyke, I say go for him. Id rather get him than Rios.

When the offseason began I suggested Rios and Headley as potential FA matches for the Tribe. I would not mind getting one or both. I have serious doubts about the supposed $65M offer Headley has in hand. In fact, I think he would've took the money and run. If I'm the Tribe I circle around with an offer. I think he eventually signs somewhere in the 4/$44 to 4/$52M range. I would be willing to go 4/$46-48M. I think Rios signs somewhere in the 1/$6M to 2/$18M, I wouldn't be surprised to see him get as high as 1/$10 to 2/$22. No thanks on the higher end, but if he'd sign around 1/$8M I would do that.
Buffalo Bison
December 10, 2014 - 4:03 PM EST
Wouldn't mind taking a flyer on Kang from Korea either, although I doubt it with the log jam of Chis and Urshella.


Billingsly or Kris Medlen for Depth.

Mets looking for either RH bench bat or LHR for Dillon Gee, Raburn and Scrabble? Thoughts...
Canadian Joe
December 10, 2014 - 3:12 PM EST
Too many $$$ as far as I am concerned. Don't want Rios. Want Van Slyke !!!!
Matthew
December 10, 2014 - 1:12 PM EST
Yeah, I could see offering 1 year and $8M or so for Rios, but that's as high as I would go. I assume that doesn't get it done. If it takes a 2nd year to get him, I'd rather have Holt as the 4th OF.
Tondo
December 10, 2014 - 1:02 PM EST
I just hope they don't offer him 2 years. Never had confidence in Rios. He's the opposite of clutch. His power has declined and while he still hits LHP, he's become well below AVG against RHP. Do the Indians really want to pay 8+mil for an upgrade on Raburn?

Did you know that Rios is now the active leader for most games played with no postseason experience? Bad karma, stay away
Tony
December 10, 2014 - 12:24 PM EST
Indians one of three teams with serious interest in Alex Rios.
Homer
December 10, 2014 - 12:23 PM EST
Tondo,

I think you've been around long enough to know I preach about the Indians getting more SP. They can never have enough good young talent. Hahn is intriguing, was kind of just throwing him out there bc his profile. I guess we will see what / who the Indians value, but I agree, don't make a hole to fill another. Unless, backup is in place.

For me, acq. another young controllable arm that is big league ready is a must, there's still some uncertainty with the Tribes rotation, I think they could look for a young controllable SP. Read: may try to land a SP prospect or two for depth.
Dennis
December 10, 2014 - 12:16 PM EST
Reds = Phillies just a year behind
Matthew
December 10, 2014 - 11:07 AM EST
Tony--

I was just discussing that with a friend yesterday. The Reds are in a bad, bad way. The Rosenthal report estimated the Reds need to shed $17M in payroll. As currently constructed, they're probably the worst team in the NL Central. Yet, they don't seem convinced it's time to sell and rebuild.

I guess they can try to move some pieces and start the season and see how it goes, then sell all these expiring assets at the deadline. At this point, they've probably waited too long to do a full sell-off anyway.

Tough situation. Mid-market, 3 players (Bailey, Votto, Phillips) eating about 50% their payroll for the foreseeable future. Not a great farm system to replenish with a cheap, controllable core.

Reds could be one of the worst teams in MLB the next 4-5 years if they don't make some strong trades this year.
Tondo
December 10, 2014 - 11:07 AM EST
Homer, Hahn is a good, young SP, but not sure the Indians really need him right now. The only hitters they would ask for are Gomes, Santana or JRam+specs. Don't think that would be smart to create a hole to add elite depth at SP. Depth the Indians already have. Not many MLB teams I can think of that have experienced ML depth like McAllister, Tomlin, Cloyd and Marcum

Rafael Soriano is the vet BP arm/closer I'd like to see signed. 2y/12mil could do it, would offer as much as 3/15 or a vesting 3rd year on the 2/12. He had a bad 2nd half last season, but has been as consistent as it gets the past years. Short term committment, fitting the 2-3year contending window.
Homer
December 10, 2014 - 10:56 AM EST
I've never seen Jesse Hahn pitch, but based on scouting reports he could be a good 3 or better. His stats and video are impressive. The Padres need a SS, the Indians have those.

Maybe JRam / Gonzalez plus Ramsey / Naquin and Hagadone? IDK, what it would take to get him, but I'm guessing they want big league talent in return.

Just throwing him out there, but Wade Miley is reportedly available.
Walter
December 10, 2014 - 10:27 AM EST
Why would the Mets want more pitching when they are loaded? There looking for bats and defense to compliment there pitching. The reason they are shopping Colon, Gee and Niese.


Sam
December 10, 2014 - 10:24 AM EST
The Padres would trade Hahn but not for Swisher or Murphy. The Dodgers asking price on Kemp included Matt Wisler, the Padres top pitching prospect. So instead of Wisler, they would be willing to part with Hahn. Don't look now but the White Six have improved dramatically, the Tigers are going to be tough again, especially after they resign Scherzer and the Royals still have a young nucleus of talent. If they don't resign Shields, look for them to trade Holland or W. Davis for a young front line starting pitcher like Zack Wheeler or Noah Syndergaard of the Mets. Indians adding only Moss isn't going to put them over the hump.
Rocky55
December 10, 2014 - 10:16 AM EST
Homer, Hahn would be a great get. If by bat you mean a good hitting position player, I don't know if we have anyone good enough.

I still don't understand the Cubs going after Lester rather than Scherzer. I thought Scherzer should be the top FA SP available. He's the guy I would want.
Tony
December 10, 2014 - 9:52 AM EST
Man, the Reds are in trouble.
Walter
December 10, 2014 - 9:44 AM EST
The Lester signing means that this would be Cueto last year as a Red. He will be in same price range next off season in free agency. If you were the Reds would give it one last hurrah to go for it this season or do you start selling and rebuild? Also have Latos, Leake and Simon as free agents after 15.

Interesting to watch being Indian fan living in Cincy.
Buffalo Bison
December 10, 2014 - 9:25 AM EST
I would definitely enquire about Chapman. I think the Royals have shown what a shutdown bullpen can do. I've been thinking all offseason that pursuing a dominate bullpen would be the optimal way to go.

Personally I wouldn't mind Dee Gordon and all his steals atop the order, although there is no position for him to play here.
Homer
December 10, 2014 - 8:34 AM EST
Here is some background info. on Jesse Hahn...

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2014/6/3/5774352/prospect-note-jesse-hahn-rhp-san-diego-padres
Homer
December 10, 2014 - 8:28 AM EST
The Padres are reportedly willing to trade RHSP Jesse Hahn, 25, for a bat. Hahn had an impressive rookie debut with the Padres last season posting an era around 3 in 12 starts and averaging nearly a K per inning.
The Padres could use a SS and an OF, just saying, I think the Tribe should inquire. Hahn would come with six yrs of control.
Clay
December 10, 2014 - 2:04 AM EST
Jon Lester agrees to deal with the Cubs.

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