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2014 winter meetings san diegoObviously the Jon Lester updates will continue rolling in throughout the evening – but a decision isn’t expected until tomorrow, so don’t drive yourself crazy – and the Cubs usually have someone from the staff/front office meet with the media at the end of the day, so I’d expect something on that later. Possibly much later, given that they’re two hours behind Central Time right now (which will make things nice and extra late for me in the Eastern Time Zone).

Until then, here’s a little of the other stuff bouncing around the meetings this evening …

  • Justin Masterson has had his interest tick up quickly and considerably (which makes me wonder if there’s any connection with the Cubs signing Jason Hammel there), and has had meetings with, or is setting meetings with, the Red Sox, White Sox, Marlins, and possibly the Cubs, according to Jon Heyman. Meanwhile, the Rangers have already made an offer. I’m not sure how Masterson would fit into the mix for the Cubs at this point, as they’ll still be trying to get an impact type (he’s not that right now), but won’t be getting any more second tier types (besides Hammel) until they are able to sort out what’s happening on the top tier side (is Masterson second tier, given the troubled 2014 campaign?). Masterson, to me, feels like more of a dice roll, third-starter-acquired kind of guy, but I’m not sure he’s going to want to wait around to be that guy for the Cubs. He might be able to get a better deal sooner from another team.
  • Chris Cotillo says that the second tier market is getting ready to explode as soon as Lester signs. “Offers being made,” Cotillo says.
  • The Phillies may find the Dodgers a better match than the Red Sox for Cole Hamels? Interesting, and underscores that, whatever happens with Lester, there’s going to be a lot of competition for Hamels. The market shifted quite a bit, and his deal now looks solidly under market, rather than at-or-near market.
  • The Red Sox outrighted infielder Jemile Weeks off of the 40-man, which is interesting primarily because Weeks is an intriguing depth infielder type (switch hits, great walk rate for his career, down couple years in the bigs, could come very cheap). He cleared waivers, which means no team wanted to put him on the 40-man roster right now (not a surprise, given the looming Rule 5 Draft and transactions flying), and was sent to AAA. As for Boston opening up a 40-man spot, don’t read too much into it (they’re now at 39). They’re going to be adding players, and they also may have wanted to have extra space for the Rule 5 if they want to select a player. They likely picked now to do it because it’s easier to sneak someone through right now than at other times in the offseason.
  • I still don’t know what the Diamondbacks are doing, but this is interesting:

  • Really don’t see the Cubs involved on Trumbo, mind you (he was traded at the meetings last year!), but it’s just interesting. Are they going to trade Miguel Montero or not? That’s the question I have.
  • The Braves agreed to sign a Cuban player whom I must confess I hadn’t heard of yet. It’s a big league deal, too (no terms yet), so he must be at least a little interesting.
  • The Mariners are the favorites to land Melky Cabrera, according to Jon Heyman. Adding Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera on big deals in the same offseason would be … well, I don’t know. There’d be some kind of story there if you wanted to write it.
  • Rangers outfielder Michael Choice is “intriguing” to other teams, which suggests to me that he might be available. I do, indeed, find him intriguing as a guy the Cubs could let play a little at AAA and see if he breaks out. There’s a lot to like, at least as a no-risk upside play.
  • Just a random reminder: the Cubs still owe the Red Sox a PTBNL from the Felix Doubront trade, and the A’s still owe the Cubs a PTBNL from the Samardzija/Hammel (lulz) trade. Both will likely be settled after the Rule 5 Draft, and both will likely involve players that were eligible for, but not selected in, the Draft (i.e., borderline, younger prospects). Or it’ll just be cash.
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