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2019 MLB Winter Meetings wrap

There was a lot of activity in San Diego, but none for the Cubs.

In the 2014-15 offseason, after the Cubs signed Joe Maddon to be their manager, they made a big splash in free agency by signing the pitcher considered to be the top free agent at the time, Jon Lester.

Maddon is now managing the Angels, and Wednesday night they made a similar big splash by signing the hitter considered to be the top free agent this winter:

That will help the Angels’ offense, no doubt about it, pairing Anthony Rendon with the best player in the game, Mike Trout. The Angels still need starting pitching, though, and they say they’re going after it:

Here’s another significant move made Wednesday:

And, early Thursday morning, a starting pitcher did go off the market:

Four other signings that happened Wednesday:

RHP Tanner Roark: Two years and a reported $24 million with the Blue Jays after posting a 4.35 ERA in 31 starts for the Reds and A’s in 2019.

RHP Kevin Gausman: One year and a reported $9 million with the Giants after posting a 5.72 ERA in 102 1/3 innings for the Reds and Braves in ‘19.

RHP Michael Wacha: One year and a reported $3 million (plus $7 million in possible incentives) with the Mets after posting a 4.76 ERA in 126 2/3 innings and dealing with injuries with St. Louis in ‘19.

RHP Josh Lindblom: Three years and a reported $9.125 million (with a total possible value around $18 million with performance bonuses) with the Brewers after spending most of the past five seasons pitching in Korea.

I would have liked the Cubs to sign Lindblom. The money listed there would have seemed affordable for the Cubs. Think of Lindblom as a pitcher similar to Miles Mikolas, who has had success after returning from Japan. The Cubs will likely have to face him five or six times this season, so now I’m hoping they will be able to hit him.

And meanwhile, the Cubs have done nothing this week. This little hint dropped Wednesday evening:

That’s... interesting. A Cubs team supposedly contending in 2020 is going to take a chance on a Rule 5 guy? Or, maybe in the minor-league rounds, for organizational depth? Or, possibly, could they select a player that another team that’s lower in the draft order wants and pulling off some sort of trade? The Cubs’ 40-man roster currently stands at 37.

The Rule 5 draft happens at 11 a.m. CT. If the Cubs select any players, or lose any players, there will be a front-page article when the draft is complete. The Rule 5 draft is the final event of the 2019 Winter Meetings.

Lots of money has been spent on big-name players so far this winter, and even some mid-range players (like Rick Porcello) have gotten employment. This is far different from the last two offseasons, where action was very slow until almost the time players reported for spring training. The reasons for this are uncertain.

It’s just 72 days until the Cubs take the field in Mesa for the first spring game against the Athletics. Hopefully, a major move or two will happen before then.