Astros continue search for relief
A day after Houston swung and missed on both Andrew Miller (who they apparently really wanted) and David Robertson (the back-up plan), Jeff Luhnow and his crew continued scouring the land far and wide for capable bullpen pitchers. We learned that they had reached out to both Luke Gregerson and Sergio Romo, two of the premier free agent relievers still on the market, and they also knocked on the Nats' door about Tyler Clippard. It also came out that they were shopping L.J. Hoes in the hopes that someone will be interested in swapping a serviceable bullpen arm for him.
And then well after midnight central time, Jerry Crasnick reported that the Astros were among teams in hot pursuit of Pat Neshek, who pitched effectively for the Cardinals in 2014.
In other Astros news, it was made public that Jeff Luhnow was extended by Jim Crane as GM sometime last winter. This served to quell rumors that there was some sort of rift between Luhnow and Crane that had Luhnow potentially on the chopping block if major improvements weren't made in the win/loss record next season.
The Big Dance
Jon Lester continued to weigh his options on Tuesday, and by the time the dust had settled, it seemed that the Dodgers and the Giants, the latter having previously been considered one of his strongest suitors, were out of the race for good. As of the end of the day, Lester appeared to be deciding between returning to the Red Sox or heading to the Cubs.
And then after ten PM San Diego time, Ken Rosenthal broke the news that Lester had decided on joining the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs big offer was $155 million spread over six years; meanwhile the Red Sox's final offer was said to be $133 million over that same span. The other big suitor, the Giants, reportedly were willing to go even further than the Cubs, but we snubbed.
Catching the Cubbies
In perhaps the biggest deal that was finalized on Tuesday, the Cubs swapped a pair of prospects to the Diamondbacks in exchange for Miguel Montero, an Arizona lifer up to this point and one of the most notable players in the franchise's relatively-brief history. The Cubs agreed to take on all of the $40 million salary still owed to Montero over the next three seasons.
Later in the day, it was reported that the Cubs are now shopping catcher Welington Castillo, made expendable by the Montero acquisition.
Buster Olney reported that the Tigers are still hot to hang on to Max Scherzer, despite trading for Shane Greene earlier in the meetings. GM Dave Dombroski later tamed those rumors, saying that the Tigers hadn't talked much to Scherzer recently.
We later learned that Scherzer and Scott Boras are looking for stupid money.
Matt Kemp on the Move?
Earlier, it appeared a number of teams were in the hunt to acquire Matt Kemp from the Dodgers. Kemp rebounded performance-wise, though his history of health issues and his massive contract are seen as hindrances to a deal. After the Orioles, Mariners and Rangers reportedly backed out of talks, it appears that the Padres are the lone remaining known suitor. Matt Kemp lives in San Diego.