It’s Winter Meetings Wednesday, which is the final full day of the meetings. Things are starting to heat up, as a lot went on overnight.
The Chicago Cubs signed Tacoma native Jon Lester to a six-year contract reportedly worth $155 million. That covers his age 31-through-36 seasons. The Cubs also traded two low-level minor leaguers to Arizona for catcher Miguel Montero. Clearly, Theo Epstein and the Cubs think that their fortunes are going to turn around in the near future.
Mariners division foe Houston decided to do something about its beleaguered bullpen, signing quality free agent relief pitchers Pat Neshek and Luke Gregerson to two- and three-year deals, respectively.
Some teams (example: the Mariners) always seem to have some new hotshot relief pitcher (or several of them) coming up through the farm system and are able to easily build a bullpen on the cheap. That simply hasn’t worked out for the Astros, so they are spending some coin to get it done.
The Pirates re-signed veteran starter Francisco Liriano to a three-year contract. That’s an interesting story: the Pirates grabbed Liriano off the scrap pile following his dreadful 2012 season, and he has delivered two outstanding seasons in the Pittsburgh rotation and the Pirates are now hoping for three more.
There will be more moves today, and then the meetings wrap up tomorrow with the annual Rule 5 Draft (there is a Rule 5 Draft preview down in the links).
Nothing has happened on the Mariners front just yet, but I did get an update on the Rainiers from one of my co-workers who is down there.
Ashley Schutt handles the Rainiers baseball operations and also runs the team store, and she said she had a good meeting with the New Era representative looking at some cool new hat designs for the team store.
She was about to hit the Baseball Trade Show, which has on display everything and anything you can imagine that is baseball-related. She will meet with the people who make the Rainiers uniforms, see new products for the team store or season ticket-holder giveaway items, and try like heck to avoid creepy travelling mascots for hire.
- Stop the presses: we have positive news about Jesus Montero.
- There are rumors that the Mariners are considering trading for Dayan Viciedo of the White Sox, Bob Dutton reports. Yikes.
- Here is Ryan Divish’s Day Three rolling blog post, and this is his final Day Two thread.
- Divish wrote about the Mariners 2014 first round draft pick Alex Jackson. I think Jackson will start 2015 at Low-A Clinton.
- Greg Johns has a Wednesday update for Mariners.com.
- Jeff Sullivan explains why the Mariners should not trade Brad Miller. He makes a lot of good points.
- In PCL news, it looks like we might try some of the speed-up-the-game initiatives this season. They won’t get an argument from me.
- Congratulations to legendary San Diego Padres broadcaster Dick Enberg, who won the Frick Award today and will be honored by the Baseball Hall Of Fame.
- How good is MLB’s technical arm? HBO has turned to MLB Advanced Media to fix its struggling HBO Go streaming product.
- The Winter Meetings end with Thursday morning’s Rule 5 Draft, so here is a preview.
- You know who is available in the Rule 5 Draft? Russell Wilson. You can bring him to spring training for $50,000!
That’s it for now.