The Rundown: Are Dodgers Interested in Russell Martin Or Not? Rizzo 10th in MVP Voting, Cubs Could Return to WGN-TV

The GM meetings have concluded with a lot of Cubs rumors, but little action.

The main targets going in (LHP Jon Lester, catcher Russell Martin, et al) remain such. Lester will be meeting with the Cubs at Wrigley Field next week in what could the beginning of a long, drawn-out process.

They added a possible bullpen option in right-handed sinker-baller Donn Roach (who apparently throws nine types of pitches?).

And things are looking promising for a signing of Martin. Well, maybe. Gordon Wittenmyer writes that the Dodgers aren’t all that interested in the veteran backstop. If this were true, coupled with the Pirates acquiring catcher Francisco Cervelli from the Yankees, it could pave a clear path for the Cubs to swoop in on Martin.

However, Jon Heyman is reporting that the Dodgers are in fact interested in Martin, with the Blue Jays being another possible suitor.

So nothing is entirely clear, I suppose. My feeling is that if the Dodgers don’t sign Martin, the Cubs will. But it won’t be the end of the world if the Cubs can’t get him.

MVPs announced

The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and the Angels’ Mike Trout were named MVP of their respective leagues on Thursday.

Kershaw also won the Cy Young Award. He is the first pitcher to win the MVP in the National League since Bob Gibson in 1968.

The Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo finished 10th in voting, which is pretty rad. He received one sixth-place vote.

Rizzo had a fantastic campaign in 2014, hitting .286/.386/.527, with 32 homer runs, .397 wOBA, 153 wRC+, and 5.6 WAR. Please let him repeat these kinds of numbers in the future.

AFL concludes for Cubs prospects

The Mesa Solar Sox ended their Arizona Fall League campaign with a 4-4 tie on Thursday.

A bunch of Cubs prospects made appearances in the final game. Dan Vogelbach batted third and went 1-for-5 with a double, walk and RBI. He finished up the AFL batting .261/.398/.319 in 21 games. Vogelbach didn’t have a single home run but had 17 walks compared to only 11 strikeouts.

Bijan Rademacher entered as a pinch hitter and went 0-for-1 with a walk. He had a very nice fall, and could be an interesting player to watch next season. I’m definitely rooting for him.

On the mound, Ivan Pineyro pitched two scoreless innings, striking out three. He finished with a nice 1.98 ERA.

Other notes

* The Cubs may be heading back to WGN-TV next season, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Cubs opted out of a broadcast agreement with WGN-TV last year. This would likely just be a bridge to a larger future deal that could involve a new regional sports network.

* Patrick Mooney had some great quotes from Kyle Schwarber about catching and the possibility of being able to learn from Russell Martin. It really sounds like Schwarber, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 draft, is serious about sticking behind the plate. “Once I kind of crushed it all out here in instructs, there was no doubt in my mind this is what I’m going to do,” Schwarber said about catching. “People can say this or that, but you know what, I got my mind set to one thing.” If Schwarber can make it happen in the big leagues behind the plate, things are going to become very interesting for the Cubs. His bat at that position would be so valuable.

* Jon Heyman says the Cubs are not in on LHP Andrew Miller. Miller is one of the top bullpen arms available this winter.

* The Indians are considering bringing back RHP Justin Masterson, according to Paul Hoynes. Masterson’s name has been tossed around as a possible buy-low target for the Cubs this offseason.

* Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Marlins and young slugger Giancarlo Stanton are discussing a 10-year, $300 million deal. Not saying that he’s not worth it, but man that’s a lot of money. Stanton is one of the most exciting young stars in baseball right now. I’m selfishly a little disappointed, as I would have loved to see what kind of trade package would have to be put together to acquire Stanton.

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