SAN DIEGO — Jon Lester will not be staying in the Bay Area.
The free-agent pitcher, who was acquired by the A's last season, told the Giants on Tuesday that he would not be signing with the World Series champions. The Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox are the leaders to sign Lester, who was dealt by Boston to the A's.
“We did not receive a rose,” Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans told MLB.com. Evans had said earlier Tuesday that Lester's relationship with other clubs. While not mentioning names, that likely means the Red Sox and the Cubs, who are now run by former Boston general manager Theo Epstein.
“Those are factors that people should not discount,” Evans told MLB.com.
Lester's signing is expected to allow a logjam of free-agent pitchers to sort itself out. Other key free-agent pitchers, led by Max Scherzer. Reports said Tuesday night that Lester was very near a decision.
“If it happens tomorrow, it happens tomorrow. If happens next week, it happens next week. If it happens in January, it happens in January,” Boston general manager Ben Cherington said. “We're not working in sequential order. We are aware of all the possibilities. We have to be aware of the bigger stuff because of the financial implications, but there's all sorts of other stuff we are working on.”
The Giants will likely turn their attention to acquiring a left fielder and third baseman to fill the voids left by the defection of former World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval to Boston and the still-unsigned Michael Morse.
In the day's other significant swap, the Arizona Diamondbacks sent All-Star catcher Miguel Montero, who is owed $40 million over the next three seasons, to the Chicago Cubs for a pair of prospects.
Coming off consecutive playoff appearances that followed a 20-year drought, the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to a $39 million, three-year deal to keep left-hander Francisco Liriano. And Atlanta agreed to a one-year deal with free-agent infielder Alberto Callaspo, who played for the A's last season.
The deals for Robertson, Liriano and Callaspo were disclosed by people familiar with the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because they had not been announced.
Callaspo, 31, played second base, first base and third base this year for the A's. He hit .223, well below his .267 career average. A year earlier, he batted .258 with 10 homers for the A's and Los Angeles Angels.
Atlanta traded second baseman Tommy La Stella to the Cubs for right-handed reliever Luis Vizcaino last month. Callaspo and Phil Gosselin could compete for the starting job at second base with top prospect Jose Peraza.
Callaspo also could play behind Chris Johnson at third base.
Callaspo's best season at the plate came in 2009, when he hit .300 with 11 homers and 73 RBIs for Kansas City.