Starting pitchers are the order of the day, and the Chicago Cubs are considering at least three free agent starters.

Because of the relative high cost of first-round draft-pick compensation, don’t expect the Cubs to pursue type A free agents if their teams offer arbitration (Tuesday deadline). That would take relievers Matt Guerrier, Jason Frasor and Grant Balfour off the Cubs’ board. Among possible non-type-A targets: Kerry Wood, Javier Vazquez and Jesse Crain.

Among the agents Cubs GM Jim Hendry met at the meetings were those who represent Vazquez, Aaron Harang and Vicente Padilla. CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.

One note: because the Chicago Cubs will pick in the first 15 picks in the 2011 First Year Player Draft, if the team should sign a Type A free agent, they would give up a second rounder, not a first. Just throwing that out there.



As for the pitchers in question, none is more than a middle-of-the-rotation hopeful, but that seems to be all the Cubs can afford this year. Harang and Vazquez had their worst seasons in recent memory in 2010, while Padilla – with the help of an occasional eephus pitch – put up decent numbers, though in limited time and in pitcher-friendly Los Angeles.

Word is, Vazquez is the Cubs’ favorite among the trio (and why not, he’s pitched well in the NL), but the Marlins and Nationals are going hard after the righty. If he nets more than $5 or 6 million per – and in a thin market, he probably will – it’s hard to see the Cubs landing him.




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