>>Lester Hoping To End Century Long Championship Drought
Jon Lester says he believes in the Chicago Cubs' plan and is ready to try to help bring them their first championship since 1908.
Lester says "we fully buy in."
A three-time All-Star who won two World Series with Boston, he was introduced at a news conference on Monday and presented Kerry Wood's old No. 34.
Lester agreed to a $155 million, six-year contract with the Cubs at the winter meetings last week that set baseball records for largest signing bonus and biggest upfront payment.
Chicago President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein says this "really marks the start of a transition for the Cubs."
>>Cubs Add Reliever Motte
(Chicago, IL) -- Right-handed reliever Jason Motte is moving from the St. Louis Cardinals to the rival Chicago Cubs. Yahoo! Sports reports the two sides have agreed to one-year, 4.5-million-dollar contract. The 32-year-old missed the entire 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He went 1-and-0 with a 4.68 ERA in 29 games last season for the Cardinals. He recorded 42 saves in 2012.
>>Report: Royals Sign Alex Rios
(Kansas City, MO) -- The Kansas City Royals are bringing in free agent slugger Alex Rios. Multiple outlets are reporting Rios has signed a one-year, 11-million-dollar contract with the Royals. Rios became a free agent after Texas declined his 13.5-million-dollar option in October. The 33-year-old hit .280 with four homers and 54 RBI in 131 games last season, his second with the Rangers. The two-time All-Star has a career .278 average with 165 home runs and 762 RBI over 11 big league seasons.
>>Dodgers Agree With Brett Anderson
(Los Angeles, CA) -- The Los Angeles Dodger are adding depth to their starting rotation. ESPN.com reports the team has agreed to a one-year, 10-million-dollar contract with lefty Brett Anderson. The 26-year-old can earn up to four-million in incentives. Anderson has not thrown over 100 innings since 2010. In six seasons, he has gone 27-and-32 with a 3.73 ERA in 92 games, including 81 starts. Anderson broke his finger last season on a hit-by-pitch and then had surgery to correct a bulging disc in his back. He was 1-and-3 with a 2.91 ERA in eight starts for the Rockies in 2014.
>>Astros Bring Back SS Lowrie
(Houston, TX) -- Jed Lowrie is returning to the Houston Astros. The 30-year-old shortstop has signed a three-year free-agent contract worth a reported 23-million-dollars. The deal includes a club option for 2018. Lowrie batted .249 with six home runs and 50 RBI last season with the Oakland A's. He hit a career-high 16 home runs with the Astros in 2012. Lowrie is a career .261 hitter with 56 home runs in seven big league seasons overall.
>>Mets Finalize One-Year Deal With Mayberry Jr.
(Flushing, NY) -- The New York Mets have finalized a one-year contract with outfielder/first baseman John Mayberry Jr. Reports during last week's Winter Meetings had the value of the deal at 1.45-million-dollars. The 30-year-old Mayberry split last season between Philadelphia and Toronto, batting a combined .212 with seven home runs in 78 games. He's a career .241 hitter with 53 home runs in six big league seasons. To make room pitcher Gonzalez German [[ her-MAHN ]] has been designated for assignment.
>>Yankees Agree To Four-Year Deal With Headley
(Bronx, NY) -- The New York Yankees are keeping third baseman Chase Headley in the Bronx. CBS Sports reports the Yankees and Headley have agreed on a four-year, 52-million-dollar contract. The 30-year-old is expected to be the Bombers' starting third baseman, while Alex Rodriguez will serve mostly as the designated hitter coming off a year-long suspension. Headley came to New York in a midseason trade from the Padres in exchange for infielder Yangervis Solarte [[ yahn-HER-viss so-LAR-tay ]] and right-hander Rafael De Paula. Headley hit .262 with six home runs and 17 RBI in 58 games for the Yankees.
>>Nationals, Harper Agree On Two-Year Deal
(Washington, DC) -- The Washington Nationals and outfielder Bryce Harper are avoiding a contract dispute. CBS Sports reports the two sides have agreed on a two-year, 7.5-million-dollar contract. The 2012 NL Rookie of the Year will earn 2.5-million in 2015, and five-million in 2016. The Nats and Harper avoided an issue that the two-time All-Star would have had the right to opt-out of his initial major league deal he signed upon being drafted, and enter baseball's arbitration system. The move would have allowed him to earn more money. Harper is hitting .272 with 55 home runs in his three-year career.