Jon Lester's imminent decision on where he will sign remained a dominant topic of conversation during Day 2 of baseball's winter meetings in San Diego, and a report on MLB.com said the Red Sox and Cubs could be emerging as the finalists.
Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans painted a more pessimistic picture of where his club stands with Lester.
"I feel we're probably in the back seat of this deal right now," Evans told MLB.com. "I feel like there are some other guys driving this, and probably we're staying in it, but I'm not sure how strongly we're a consideration considering the other options."
White Sox land 2 arms
Jeff Samardzija has played for Notre Dame and the Cubs and now will get to pitch for the White Sox.
"Being a Chicago guy, that's one of the craziest things I've thought about," he said Tuesday after Oakland dealt the righthander to Chicago's South Side on a day when it was also reported that the White Sox had agreed to a deal with former Yankees closer David Robertson.
Trading an all-star for the third time in less than two weeks, the Athletics sent Samardzija and right-hander Michael Ynoa to Chicago for righthander Chris Bassitt, catcher Josh Phegley, first baseman Rangel Ravelo, and infielder Marcus Semien.
Robertson, 30, is leaving the Yankees after one season as New York's closer, agreeing to a $46 million, four-year contract with Chicago, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.
Montero to Cubs
All-star catcher Miguel Montero was traded from Arizona to the Chicago Cubs in a deal that relieves the Diamondbacks of having to pay $40 million over the next three years.
Arizona will receive minor-league righthanders Jeferson Mejia and Zack Godley.
The 31-year-old Montero, an all-star in 2011 and '14, hit .282 this year with 18 homers and 86 RBIs. He is owed $12 million next season and $14 million in each of the final two years of a $60 million, five-year contract.
Mejia, 20, was 2-4 with a 2.48 ERA in two starts and 10 relief appearances this year for rookie-level Mesa. The 24-year-old Godley was 4-3 with a 3.09 ERA and 15 saves in 40 games for Kane County and Daytona, both Class A teams.
"We had an opportunity to get two good arms," Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart said. "Mejia is a power arm, a 6-7 kid, has 94-97 [m.p.h.]. Godley is a kid that's 92-96. . . . We needed to get starting pitching back into our system."