With apologies, I’ve got to do this morning’s Lester update quick-hit Bullet style. The Little Girl is home sick with me today, and I’ve got to take her to see the doctor during open hours – which means I had to get this typed up as quickly as possible before we left, because I don’t know how long we’ll be sitting.
So, away with the Lester stuff …
- The Giants reportedly met with Jon Lester’s agent last night, and the Giants are “hoping to strike a deal in the next couple days,” according to Bob Nightengale. You could read that a handful of ways, but, at a minimum, the Giants definitely don’t believe they’re out of this thing. That’s the important takeaway for now.
- And Jayson Stark adds that an exec of a team in on Lester says he expects “talks will come into clearer focus” by the end of today. Is there any connection between that report and Nightengale’s? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, you can expect to hear a lot today. But you already knew that.
- Bruce Levine hears that the bidding on Lester may not have topped $140 million just yet, but it could get there quickly this week. He also spoke to Ryan Dempster, who said nice things about the Cubs’ efforts in this pursuit.
- Interestingly, Jon Heyman also mentions $140 million as the level the Cubs may be at or over, so it’s possible that they really aren’t yet up to the $150 million plateau, below which it’s very hard to see Lester signing. The Cubs are “making a run” right now, according to Heyman, whatever that means.
- I mentioned it last night, but to reiterate it here: Ken Rosenthal hears from an exec (not in the bidding) that it’s going to take a seventh year to get Lester. We’ll see. I’m not fundamentally opposed to a seventh year, depending on the total guarantee (because, in the end, that’s the amount you’re actually risking, and if that seventh year costs only another, say, $10 million, then it’s not as scary as it sounds). But I don’t think the Cubs are going to be running to get this thing up to seven years. As the guy who invented the TOOTBLAN writes at his new blog, seven years is a long time. (He’s a friend, by the way. Check out his digs.)
- Chris Cotillo asked around to see if Lester would be at the meetings, and it sounds like the answer is no, at least for now. Players rarely come to the meetings unless it becomes necessary, so that doesn’t mean a deal isn’t close (he could always hop a plane). It just means his agents are there to negotiate on his behalf, knowing full well where he stands (they may even know at this point that he wants to be with Team X, and the plan is simply to do whatever necessary to get the best final offer from Team X). Also: they can call him.
- As Buster Olney underscores, the Red Sox’s pitching situation right now is an utter mess. Lots of interesting young arms, but not many guys in whom you can have confidence heading into a season in which you’ve clearly put the pedal to the floor (signing Sandoval and Ramirez). They’ve got to add at least two sure-fire starters, and I can see why they might have more urgency with respect to Lester than some are suggesting. You want my bet as of this morning? I’m still taking the Red Sox by a nose. I think they’ll come up just enough to get it done. I hope I’m wrong.