9:01 PM EST, Sat November 22, 2014

Martin looking even better for Cubs

PHOENIX – The general managers meetings in Arizona end where they began for the Chicago Cubs: with free agent catcher Russell Martin. News that the Pittsburgh Pirates traded for backstop Francisco Cervelli underscores that they’re more than likely losing Martin to free agency. And if they lose him to the Cubs, it’s a double whammy for the Pirates, who've qualified for the last two postseasons only to fall in the NLDS in 2013 and the wild-card game this year.

Agent Boras: 'There are grand incentives to tank a season'

PHOENIX – It was a simple question, but baseball mega-agent Scott Boras doesn’t do simple. Boras usually makes one public appearance for the media at events like this week’s general managers meetings and will entertain questions about his star clients and the game of baseball itself. And then he provides entertaining answers that are so blatantly pro-player and anti-system that you almost know what’s coming before it happens.

Arrieta gets Cy Young votes

PHOENIX – Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta received three fifth-place votes for the National League Cy Young Award, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced on Wednesday. Arrieta, 28, went 10-5 with a 2.53 ERA in 25 starts after missing the first month of the season due to shoulder stiffness. Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw won the award, with Johnny Cueto of the Cincinnati Reds finishing in second. Arrieta’s three votes earned him a ninth-place finish in the voting out of 12.

Source: Lester to meet with Cubs

PHOENIX – Free agent pitcher Jon Lester will meet with the Chicago Cubs in Chicago sometime next week, according to a source familiar with the situation. Lester, 30, is one of the top free-agent pitchers on the market and has been linked to the Cubs for a while. He pitched for the Boston Red Sox while Cubs President Theo Epstein was the general manager there last decade. Lester went 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA split between the Red Sox and Oakland Athletics last season.

Boras advocates for Bryant on opening day roster

PHOENIX – The agent for top Chicago Cubs prospect Kris Bryant is using the team’s own rhetoric in making the case for his client to be on the Cubs' Opening Day roster in 2015. “As to whether or not Kris Bryant is on the Cubs -- and they are on record saying they are trying to win -- does it best help the Cubs win if he’s on the team for six months or for 5 1/2? Or 4 1/2?” Scott Boras asked rhetorically Wednesday at the general manager meetings in Arizona.

Cubs claim pitcher Roach from Padres

PHOENIX -- The Chicago Cubs acquired right-handed pitcher Donn Roach off of waivers from the San Diego Padres, the team announced Wednesday. Roach, 24, appeared in 16 games for San Diego mostly out of the bullpen in 2014 and produced a 4.75 ERA. “He does a real nice job of keeping the ball on the ground,” Cubs President Theo Epstein said from the GM meetings in Arizona. “He’s a guy to add to that next tier of relievers.” Roach was 4-6 with a 5.

Heyward a fit, but Cubs might have to wait

CHICAGO -- They might have to wait a year to grab him, but Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward would be a perfect fit for the Chicago Cubs as they move into their contending phase. Besides being a very good player, Heyward fits the profile of what the Cubs want in signing or trading for key players: He’s young. “The game is going younger,” general manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday at the GM meetings in Arizona. “We’re probably going to be too young next year, but the game is moving younger.

Rival GMs on Maddon hiring: I would have done the same

PHOENIX -- While the fraternity of major league managers may or may not like how the firing of former Cubs skipper Rick Renteria and the hiring of Joe Maddon to replace him went down, the sentiment among general managers isn’t quite as ambiguous. Most that spoke Tuesday agreed if it’s the right thing for the team, then it’s the right decision to be made -- no matter the awkwardness or unorthodox timing of the affair. “We’re all in positions to make tough decisions,” New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Day 2 of the GM Meetings in Arizona.

Chat wrap: Free-agent targets

Which players are the Chicago Cubs most likely to sign this offseason? Jesse Rogers talks about this and more in his weekly Cubs chat here.

Chat alert: Jesse Rogers at noon CT

ESPNChicago.com's Jesse Rogers takes your Cubs questions during a live chat at noon CT Tuesday. Click here to submit your questions.
Chicago Sun-Times Nov 11, 2014

Cubs dismiss tampering allegations with Joe Maddon deal

Click for story: http://chicagosuntimes.com/sports/cubs-dismiss-tampering-allegations-with-joe-maddon-deal/ …

Epstein: Cubs 'no longer the runt of the litter'

PHOENIX – The Chicago Cubs' return to relevance continues to take shape, with team president Theo Epstein saying Monday that he’s receiving more calls from opposing executives than has been typical at this point in past offseasons, while top free agents are starting to take the franchise seriously again. “It’s probably the first time agents can come into our suite without having to look both ways to make sure no one sees them coming in,” Epstein joked on the first day of baseball's general-managers meetings in Arizona.

Source: Cubs met with Martin last week

PHOENIX -- The Chicago Cubs met with Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin last week in Chicago, according to a source familiar with the situation, with Martin set to become a free agent after he rejects the Pirates qualifying offer on Monday. Martin, 31, hit .290 with 11 home runs and 67 RBIs last year and has been in the postseason in seven of his nine years in the big leagues. That kind of playoff experience is something the Cubs covet for their young team.

Cubs head to Arizona with "momentum"

PHOENIX -- It all starts here. The most important offseason -- to this point, at least -- of Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein’s regime begins in earnest at the posh Arizona Biltmore hotel, where general managers will meet this week to discuss everything from rule changes to ways to speed up the game. But it’s the personnel decisions -- of the trade and free-agent variety -- that Cubs fans will focus on most. The winter meetings next month in San Diego might produce more headlines, but Cubs GM Jed Hoyer admitted recently the offseason has morphed into more than a just a few weeks in...

Hoyer: 'Super-charged offseason ... is overstated'

CHICAGO -- With rumors already swirling that the Chicago Cubs are interested in some of the game’s biggest free agents, general manager Jed Hoyer explained Friday where some of that rhetoric is coming from. “We’re literally linked to every free agent it seems like,” Hoyer said on a conference call with reporters. “Some of that is agent driven. They’re trying to connect us to everyone because they realize we do have some payroll flexibility.

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