Free-agent lefty Jon Lester is likely to pick his new team by Tuesday, and he appears poised to become the first major free-agent signing at this year's Winter Meetings, a source told MLB.com.
There were at least three suitors still in play - the Cubs, Giants, and Red Sox. The Dodgers have also been linked to Lester over the last week.
The competition for Lester is such that he could receive a deal in the range of $140 million.
The biggest question may be whether the Red Sox have atoned for a series of mistakes in their handling of Lester that date back to March.
The team made their ace a no-chance offer of $70 million that led to negotiations being tabled. Lester was then traded to the Oakland Athletics in July. Teammate David Ortiz said a few days ago that Lester was "devastated" by that development.
After a last-place finish, the Red Sox reversed their approach to Lester and chased him with greater fervor.
Gathering Moss. The Indians addressed the need for more power in their lineup. Now Brandon Moss has to provide it.
Cleveland finalized a trade - the first of the winter meetings - that has been in the works for weeks on Monday by acquiring Moss, a first baseman/outfielder and all-star last season, from the Oakland Athletics for minor league infielder Joey Wendle.
The 31-year-old Moss batted .234 with a 25 homers and 81 RBIs in a career-high 147 games for the A's. The left-handed former IronPigs star drew 67 walks and scored 70 runs.
Wendle, who played college ball at West Chester, hit .253 for the Class AA Akron Rubber Ducks. He hit eight homers and collected 50 RBI.
Another Ham. Pitcher Jason Hammel agreed to a $20 million, two-year contract to return to the Chicago Cubs, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press.
Hammel's deal includes a $12 million club option for 2017 with a $2 million buyout. If the option is exercised, the contract would be worth $30 million for three seasons.
The 32-year-old right-hander was 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 17 starts for the Cubs before he was traded to Oakland on July 5 with pitcher Jeff Samardzija. He went 2-6 with a 4.26 ERA for the Athletics.
Seeking its first World Series title since 1908, Chicago is trying to end a streak of five losing seasons. Since the end of the season, the Cubs hired Joe Maddon to replaced Rick Renteria as manager and have been trying to sign free agents.
Kang could be Kong. Power-hitting Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang is drawing interest, no surprise considering the thin shortstop market, and the Mets, Athletics, and Giants are among teams interested.
While some may view the slugging Kang as more of a second baseman, he has been the top shortstop in Korea, and some teams think he can make the transition. The Mets have struggled to find a shortstop, and are planning to give Wilmer Flores a shot should they not come out of this offseason with an upgrade. It is rumored that they wanted to trade with the Phillies for Jimmy Rollins, but J-Roll nixed the deal.
Kang has put up huge numbers. He hit .364 for the Nexen Heroes, with 39 home runs in 116 games. The big question is how those numbers translate.
Escape from Tampa. Mayor Rick Kriseman and the Tampa Bay Rays have negotiated an agreement to let the team search for new stadium sites in exchange for payments to the city if the team leaves before its contract at Tropicana Field expires in 2027, according to the Tampa Bay Times.