The Rundown: Lester to Meet with Braves and Maybe Cardinals, Cubs Inquire about Swisher, Interest in Gomes

For a moment on Tuesday morning, the frigid Chicago sky was falling for Cubs fans after Peter Gammons told CBS Sports’ “The Morning Show” that the Cubs think Jon Lester will end up in Boston.

He went on to say a deal may not be completed until December, and that Lester’s representatives will wait and see if the Yankees get in on the fun.

However, Gammons didn’t report anything officially. So let’s not overreact. Yet.

Lester reportedly visited the Cubs on Tuesday, and is expected to meet with the Braves later this week, according to Buster Olney. Ken Rosenthal chimes in that the meeting will take place on Thursday.

Later on Tuesday, to get things all stirred up again, Jim Bowden reported that the Cardinals will be pursuing Lester as well. Great.

St. Louis does have a vacancy in the starting rotation after trading away Shelby Miller, but I wonder how serious they will be about Lester. Hopefully it’s just a mild case of tire-kicking.

After the Cubs missed out on free-agent catcher Russell Martin on Monday, fans probably don’t feel very confident in regard to landing Lester. It sounds like we won’t get an answer anytime soon, and I’m sure it will be a roller coaster of emotions.

Rumor time

* The Cubs have inquired about Indians outfielder Nick Swisher, according to Bruce Levine. My first (and continual) reaction is PLEASE NO. Tom has said before that the Cubs might look for an Edwin Jackson/Swisher swap. If that’s the case, I’d rather hold on to Jackson. For me, the only plus to bringing in Swisher would be his OPB abilities (.353 career), but he was bad last year, hitting .208/.278/.331 in only 97 games for the Indians. Plus, his personality is grating. Pass.

UPDATEThe Daily Herald’s Bruce Miles tweeted this morning that his sources say the Cubs have not inquired about Nick Swisher and that they were “vehement” in denying the possibility that they had.

* The Phillies have been heavily scouting some of the Red Sox’s top prospects, which may indicate background work for a Cole Hamels trade, writes Ken Rosenthal.

* Also according to Rosenthal, the Marlins are interested in RHP James Shields. He notes that Marlins GM Dan Jennings drafted Shields for Tampa Bay in 2000.

* The Cubs are one of five teams interested in Jonny Gomes, tweets WEEI’s Rob Bradford. This is a name we’ve seen pop up before, so something to keep an eye on.

AFL wrap-up

Baseball America took a look at its top 10 prospects from the recently concluded Arizona Fall League, with the Cubs’ Addison Russell coming in at No. 4. Scouts said Russell “looked tired” at times, according to BA, but still flashed tools and excellent bat speed.

Some of the scouts wondered if Russell will stick at shortstop, noticing that his movements have stiffened and slowed down some. This could be something interesting to monitor. also released an AFL recap, outlining how some of the prospects from each team fared. For the Cubs, Bijan Rademacher was named “best performer” for hitting .350/.404/.525, with four steals in 11 games. With the trade of Arodys Vizcaino on Sunday, Rademacher has been slotted into’s top 20 Cubs prospects. (He’s No. 20.)

Rademacher had a solid year with High-A Daytona, and could begin next year in Double-A Tennessee.

Other notes

* The Providence Journal’s Brian MacPherson wrote about how a number of highly touted prospects struggled in 2014. He also focused on Anthony Rizzo’s struggles before having a fantastic 2014, and how the Cubs could have given up on Rizzo before he was able to turn it around. The article is an interesting complement to Ryan’s article on Javier Baez from yesterday.

* Patrick Mooney takes a look at the Cubs’ chances of signing Lester. The gist? He thinks it’ll be tough to beat out Boston. The article features some pretty good quotes from reliever Carlos Villanueva on how potential free agents might view the Wrigley Field amenities, such as the clubhouse. Even though the Cubs are working on improvements, they’re still not ready, and that could have an impact on signing free agents, Villanueva says.

Back to top button