Photo credit: Kelly O'Connor

Photo credit: Kelly O’Connor

This week marks a potentially important seven days for the Boston Red Sox, as two of the teams highly coveted pitching options are reportedly drawing closer to final decisions. Free agent left-hander Jon Lester will meet with the San Francisco Giants on Monday, before making his final decision later in the week. The 30-year old has garnered interest from teams all over the league, but reports indicate that he has only met with the Red Sox, Cubs, and Giants. While no meeting is planed to happen between the Yankees and Lester, some believe that the Yankees are a team to watch in the final days of Lester’s free agency. However, Lester has stated publicly that money isn’t the only factor that will influence his decision; family comfort will also play a large role. Therefore, the Yankees deep pockets won’t give them the advantage that it usually does. Similar to Lester, free agent reliever Andrew Miller is also staring down a lucrative deal on the free agent market. On Miller, the Red Sox have made their desire to reunite with the lefty well known. While no contract figures have been leaked, many speculate that the reliever will sign a record deal for a relief pitcher. Like Lester, the Red Sox will be met with heavy competition for the southpaw, with the Yankees looking like Boston’s chief competition.

  • The Toronto Blue Jays made a huge splash over the Thanksgiving weekend, as they acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Oakland Athletics, in exchange for a package of prospects. The acquisition of Donaldson marks Toronto’s second big move this offseason, as they also inked catcher Russell Martin in mid-November. These two substantial additions come two seasons after the Blue Jays and the Miami Marlins pulled off a mega deal involving Jose Reyes and Josh Johnson. While 2012’s moves didn’t necessarily pan out according to plan, this time around could be very different. (Big moves for Blue Jays might finally payoff)
  • Before Josh Donaldson was traded last Saturday, many speculated which member of the Athletics would be on the move. There was a growing belief that Jeff Samardzija would be on the move, due to the increased amount of trade rumors surrounding the right-hander. Of course, Samardzija is still a member of the Athletics as of now, but Oakland has continued to receive hits on the 30-year old starting pitcher. The Red Sox are just one of a handful of teams interested in the seven year veteran, with the Braves and White Sox also upping their involvement. (Red Sox among teams interested in Jeff Samardzija)
  • As the Red Sox shop Yoenis Cespedes this offseason, they won’t have a hard time finding suitors for the 30-year old slugger. The current free agent market is all but stripped of power hitters now that Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez, and Nelson Cruz are all off the board, putting power needy teams in a bind. On paper Boston could conceivably hook up with a handful of teams needing the power bat that Cespedes offers. In turn, the Red Sox could use a Cespedes trade to revamp their starting rotation. (Who is a trade fit for Yoenis Cespedes?)
  • Tweet of the weekend: The old man’s still got it