Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com talked to a source who believes free agent Jon Lester will likely sign by the end of this week and unless some mystery team emerges his choice will be the Red Sox, Cubs, or Giants.
He’s met recently with all three teams and McAdam reports that he’s got a $138 million offer from the Cubs and a $130 million offer from the Red Sox. No one is sure how much the Giants have offered, but presumably it’s in the same range.
Milwaukee has signed right-hander Brandon Kintzler to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.
Kintzler was projected to make around $1 million via arbitration, but the one-year deal will pay the 30-year-old reliever $1.075 million following a season in which he struck out just 31 batters in 58 innings but posted a 3.24 ERA.
Kintzler, who underwent offseason knee surgery, has a 3.26 ERA in 174 career innings for the Brewers since debuting in 2010.
Esmil Rogers and the Yankees have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal.
Rogers was projected to make around $2 million via arbitration and looked like a potential non-tender candidate, but Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the two sides came to a compromise contract in which he’ll get $750,000 guaranteed and can earn up to $1.48 million.
Claimed off waivers from the Blue Jays on July 31, the 29-year-old right-hander pitched out of the Yankees’ bullpen down the stretch with a 4.68 ERA and 23/10 K/BB ratio in 25 innings. He has a 4.57 ERA in 236 total innings since leaving the Rockies and Coors Field.
Making official what was presumed after they designated him for assignment last week, the Red Sox non-tendered third baseman/first baseman Juan Francisco.
Boston claimed Francisco off waivers from Toronto on November 19 to give them a fallback option at third base, but signing Pablo Sandoval (and Hanley Ramirez) made him superfluous.
Francisco isn’t much of a defender and can’t hit left-handed pitching, but against right-handers his career .786 OPS is higher than the career OPS versus righties by, among others, Michael Brantley, Billy Butler, Yoenis Cespedes, Eric Hosmer, and Michael Cuddyer.
He’ll land somewhere in a part-time role.
All offseason the assumption has been that the Yankees would make a strong effort to re-sign third baseman Chase Headley after acquiring him from the Padres for the stretch run.
However, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York the Yankees “have cooled” on that idea and are not willing to go beyond a four-year contract for Headley. In other words, no five-year deal like fellow free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval got from the rival Red Sox.
Matthews writes that the Yankees may consider using Martin Prado at third base if they can’t re-sign Headley at a price tag they’re comfortable with.