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Yesterday, the Tribune reported that the Chicago Cubs were very interested in free agent pitcher Ben Sheets and suggested that his asking price had dropped from $10 to 12 million per year to $10 to 12 million guaranteed over two years. The former point is clearly true, the latter is in doubt. Carrie Muskat has reported that the $10 to 12 million is still per year, and thus, I fear that the suggestion that it was for two years was merely a slip of the pen.

As to the former point – the Cubs wanting Sheets – although they want him, the pay’s the thing.

All the speculation about Ben Sheets and the Chicago Cubs is purely that — speculation. Yes, the Cubs like Sheets and Cubs general manager Jim Hendry did talk to Sheets’ agent Casey Close at the winter meetings, but in this case where there’s smoke there isn’t necessarily fire.

At that time, Sheets was looking for somewhere in the area of $7 to $8 million a year. That is certainly a hefty amount considering that he hasn’t pitched since 2008 and had right elbow surgery that caused him to miss the 2009 season. ESPN Chicago.

Even if Sheets has dropped his price tag from $10 million per year to $7 million per year, it’s hard to imagine the Cubs biting. As the number continues to drift downward, however, there is certainly a threshold that the Cubs are waiting for. The only other moves the Cubs look to make this offseason are adding a fourth outfielder and adding a reliever – presumably, neither will be a big money move, precluding signing Sheets if his number drops enough.

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