The big news is all about Jon Lester. We're going to cover that elsewhere. In fact, we've been covering most of the Winter Meetings in real time this week. But there are still a few stories that have fallen between the cracks.
Seriously, no one is going to read Bullets today.
- Phil Rogers says Chicago is the place for baseball right now. And he wrote that before the Lester signing.
- The Giants missed out on Lester. Mike Axisa charts where they might go from here.
- Rob Neyer doesn't think that state taxes plays much of a role in deciding where free agents go.
- He also wonders if should stop judging free agent deals by how much they cost relative to the WAR they produce. The teams obviously don't care anymore.
- Neyer also thinks that umpires shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame. Although he's not calling for kicking them out like he wants to do to Chick Hafey.
- Ben Lindbergh thinks the White Sox fixed their pitching staff with Jeff Samardzija and David Robertson, but they still lack the bats to be a playoff contender.
- Having missed out on Robertson and Andrew Miller, the Astros are taking to Sergio Romo and Luke Gregerson.
- Richard Justice has some ideas about why these Winter Meetings is so wild.
- There were reports that the Tigers were going to go all out to try to re-sign Max Scherzer, but GM Dave Dombrowski says that's not happening.
- The Pirates re-signed Francisco Liriano to a 3 year, $39 million deal.
- The Braves signed Alberto Callaspo.
- By signing Callaspo and Nick Markakis, the Braves are cutting down on the number of times they strike out.
- The Braves are trying to trade Justin Upton, but no one is offering more than what the Cardinals gave them for Jason Heyward. They think Upton is better than Heyward, so they should get more than that.
- Jon Heyman wonders if the Cardinals might not make a run on Max Scherzer.
- Despite official denials, the Diamondbacks are definitely shopping Mark Trumbo.
- Tony LaRussa also denied that Diamondbacks ownership nixed a trade of Miguel Montero to the Dodgers. I don't care if they did or not, I'm just glad he's a Cub.
- Bill Plaschke thinks the Dodgers would be stupid to trade Matt Kemp.
- Phillies president Pat Gillick said that GM Ruben Amaro Jr. "didn't all of a sudden get dumb." No, he was born that way.
- CJ Nitkowski thinks that while the Mariners have gotten better, they still need to make another move to be a playoff contender.
- Ken Rosenthal thinks Athletics GM Billy Beane deserves the benefit of the doubt, but he can't figure out what he's up to.
- Twins manager Paul Molitor says that he believes Joe Mauer will bounce back in 2015.
- Jon Heyman says that Orioles owner Peter Angelos should let GM Dan Duquette take the Blue Jays CEO job.
- Carlos Martinez will wear number 18 in tribute to Oscar Tavares.
- The Rays have reached an agreement with the city of St. Petersburg that would allow them to look at building a new stadium in Tampa. The city council still needs to approve it.
- Rays owner Stuart Sternberg says that without a new stadium in Tampa, he'll sell the team to someone who will move the team out of the Tampa Bay area. Most likely meaning Montreal interests.
- Madison Bumgarner was named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year.
- Even better, in the article that goes with it, Madison Bumgarner reveals that he once dated a girl named Madison Bumgarner. That those two kids didn't get married is a huge opportunity missed. He assures us that he wasn't related to her. I guess he had to mention that.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. We're one day closer to Jon Lester taking the mound at Wrigley Field.