The Rundown: Dodgers May Have ‘Serious’ Interest in Lester, What About Yankees? Cubs May Pursue David Ross, Baez to Start Winter Ball

Good news: The Yankees may not swoop in at the last minute and sign free-agent pitcher Jon Lester after all.

(Well, the Yankees maybe should never be counted out, so I suppose it’s still possible. But for the sake of this article, let’s pretend they won’t, and that it’s good news.)

Bad news: Oh, right — the Dodgers.

Rob Bradford and Alex Speier from WEEI in Boston are reporting the Dodgers have “serious” interest in Lester. One source reportedly told them he would be “shocked” if the Dodgers don’t end up with the high bid on Lester.

If LA really is in on this, it could spell big trouble for the Cubs, as the Dodgers likely have the funds to outbid pretty much any team.

It’s not like the Dodgers have a shortage of starting pitching, however. Chris Cotillo writes that they may look to trade one of their top starting pitchers, Zach Greinke, both to free up a spot in the rotation and out of fear that he may decide to opt out of his contract after this upcoming season.

This is the first we’ve heard of any real interest from the Dodgers in Lester. Hopefully the interest isn’t as strong as it sounds from these reports.

The Lester wave appeared to have crested earlier on Wednesday, as Tom reported that at least one AL club believed the Cubs were close to a deal. And David Kaplan said a source told him the Cubs are “right there” with Lester.

Then 670 the Score’s Matt Abbatacola caused a bit of a stir when he tweeted this:

It’s hard to tell if he threw it out as opinion or actually heard something (I lean toward the former). Patrick Mooney writes that the Yankees aren’t believed to be involved.

After a long day of Lester rumors yesterday, I’m still about in the same spot: I really hope the Cubs get Lester, but I feel like it’s not going to happen.

For a while now, I’ve thought a team would swoop in late, and it’s looking like that team may be the Dodgers.

Other notes

* The Cubs reportedly have interest in catcher David Ross, according to Jesse Rogers. Ross would serve as a backup at this point in his career and is seen as a decent defensive catcher. He caught 29 Jon Lester starts with the Red Sox, according to Rogers. He would also provide some veteran leadership. If acquiring Ross in any way would help the Cubs land Lester, then I’m all for it.

* The Braves have signed outfielder Nick Markakis to a reported four-year, $44 million deal. That was quick. Only a couple days ago, we learned Markakis might not be returning to the Orioles, as was originally expected. I like Markakis as a player, but he probably didn’t quite fit with the Cubs’ needs. Especially for that price, when they already have Chris Coghlan.

* Javier Baez will begin playing Winter Ball in Puerto Rico on Dec. 11, according to Carrie Muskat.

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