Winter Meetings—Day 1; Cubs 12/8 Recap

Cubs may be close to acquiring catcher Miguel Montero from the Diamondbacks and are still waiting on a Jon Lester decision. News and notes from day one of the winter meetings and a light day of action in winter leagues.

Cubs close to acquiring Montero
According to numerous reports, the Cubs are close to acquiring Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero for low-level minor league pitching prospects. Cubs would take on Montero’s three-year, $40 million contract. Splitting playing time with Wellington Castillo, Montero’s addition would give the Cubs a solid platoon behind the plate, and the left-handed hitting catcher would also improve the Cubs defense.

Cubs News and Rumors
Cubs and starting pitcher Jason Hammel have agreed on a two-year, $18 million deal with a team option for the third year. Hammel would make $10 million the third year and the Cubs have a $2 million buyout, according to reports. I like bringing Hammel back, he provides 170+ innings and has shown the ability to take the ball every five days. Also provides veteran leadership for the young pitchers and is familiar with the organization and its players. Throw in the price tag for the 32-year-old and on paper in December it looks like a win for the Cubs........The Jon Lester watch continues with the Dodgers and Giants drawing more of the headlines in the rumor mill. Seems more “experts” are guessing when he will make a decision instead of who he’s signing with. And the Yankees are now back in the Lester hunt according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Lester is expected to make his decision on Tuesday......Cubs are reportedly meeting with free agent pitcher Justin Masterson, who started the year with Cleveland and was traded to Cardinals. Masterson struggled after the trade and saw his value drop. He’s likely to sign a one-year deal to increase his worth and the Cubs may be a great launching spot for him. It been reported the Red Sox have offered a multi-year deal for the right-handed starter........Kris Bryant was in San Diego at the Winter Meetings to pick up a few awards. He named Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year and also earned the Joe Bauman Award for the most homers in the minors with 43. He told Carrie Muskat of that he’s looking forward to 2015 more than any season in the past.

Hot Stove News
I’ll try to keep you updated on all the transactions so you have one place to see all the day’s happenings..........White Sox made big news late on Day One with the signing of relief pitcher David Robertson (Yankees) to a four-year, $46 million contract. The White Sox are also close to completing a trade for Oakland pitcher and former Cub Jeff Samardzija for several prospects..........Oakland traded OF/1B Brandon Moss to the Indians for minor league 2B Joe Wendle.......Braves signed Cuban outfielder Dian Toscano to a MLB deal according to Baseball America. The 25-year-old was exempt from the international bonus pools........Angels claim OF/1B Marc Krauss off waivers from the Astros......Blue Jays claim 1B/OF Chris Colabello off waivers from Twins....White Sox claim C Rob Brantly off waivers from Marlins.......The Pirates claimed RHP Josh Lindblom off waivers from A’s.

Very light schedule in winter league play.

Venezuelan Winter League
Yoanner Negrin recorded a strikeout but only lasted one-third an inning after allowing a hit and two walks in the 8th inning of Caracas’ 6-0 win over Zulia.

Dominican Winter League
No games scheduled.

Mexican Pacific Winter League
No Cubs prospects saw action.

Puerto Rican Winter League
No games scheduled.

Cubs Winter League prospects stats

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