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The Chicago Cubs’ primary target this offseason is, and should be, Detroit Tigers’ center fielder Curtis Granderson (you know, assuming the team can dump Milton Bradley, blah, blah, details). But the names suggested as the Tigers’ return – reliever Carlos Marmol, and shortstop prospect Starlin Castro – have been largely shot down by Cubs sources. Given Marmol’s relative inexpensiveness and studly arm, and Castro’s stratospheric ceiling, the Cubs’ reluctance is understandable.

But what if the Tigers won’t budge? What if those are the guys – or at least one of them – that the Tigers want?

Maybe there’s a way around that. Curtis Granderson, you know, is not the only guy the Tigers are shopping. And he’s not the only guy that would make sense for the Cubs.

The Tigers are also shopping young starting pitcher, Edwin Jackson. Jackson, under control for two more seasons, is due a raise in arbitration after going 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA for the Tigers this year, and making $2.2 million. Jackson is just 25, but he’s already had a great deal of ML experience – not all of it good. Before 2008, it was a struggle for Jackson. So is he developing into a quality major league pitcher, or have the last season and a half been a fluke? That’s the question a team will have to ask itself before making a move for Jackson.

That said, what if that team is the Cubs? With Ted Lilly set to begin the season on the disabled list for an indeterminate period of time, the Cubs rotation looks like this: Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, ?, ?. Does not exactly inspire confidence, and why it isn’t the subject of more discussion, I have no idea. So wouldn’t a move for Granderson and Jackson make some sense for the Cubs?

Maybe then the team would be more willing to discuss guys like Marmol or Castro in a deal with the Tigers.

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