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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.

  • http://bleachernation.com RICO SANTO

    These 3 are all terrible. I would rather just go young, with Cashner, Archer after a couple of months, Coleman ? Now Garland I would take.

  • CubsFanatic

    Why are we not talking to LaRoche and Hudson?! Vazquez would be the one I would trust the ball to most out of the three. If we sign him, meh. If we don’t, meh. But what we DO need to do is take care of SS/2B and 1B. Please Hendry. Sing Hudson and LaRoche. T_T

    • Raymond Robert Koenig

      I agree. Hudson should be on Hendry’s mind. First and foremost. Then LaRoche.

  • http://rooftop-view.com Jack Nugent

    I don’t mind hearing at all that the Cubs are looking at Vazquez. I mean, if they are hell bent on signing a reliever, I think he is probably the most sensible place to look.

    Vazquez hasn’t just been good in the NL– he’s been dominant at times. Back in 2009, he was one of the 2-3 best pitchers in the NL. His ability to miss plenty of bats makes him a good fit for the team given how bad they were on defense a year ago…

    Assuming he’s healthy, Vazquez could be a decent pick up

    • Ace

      One thing – the Cubs aren’t looking at him as a reliever; they want him as a starter. You may have just mis-typed.

  • Jeff

    Have the Cubs gone back in time to the early 90’s or something? This seems like the kind of crap we used to have to deal with every off season, just filling out the roster with whatever journeyman they can get cheap and hope they do well. Vicente Padilla and Aaron Harang? Come on, does anyone seriously think either of those two are better than the guys they have on the staff already? The more this off season goes on, the sicker I am getting to my stomach when I think about what kind of team the Cubs will have next year.

    • Ace

      Agreed. Just start a young guy, and save the cash for a meaningful player.

  • http://bleachernation ramy16

    HARANG??? IS HENDRY FUCKING SERIOUS??/ this guy serves up home runs on a plate…vazquez i can understand…i still would go with jon garland myself…as far as first base goes i still think we should go after carlos pena…i would love ADRIAN GONZALEZ…just doent see it happening especiallly if dumb ass HENDRY GIVES UP OUR WHOLE FUCKING FARM ! WHAT A DICK HEAD WE HAVE FOR A GM…TOTALLY FUCKED OUR TEAM FOR A LONGTIME…

  • ed

    Ace, Do you think Alonso Yonder might be available from the Reds, considering Joey Votto has first base blocked?

    • Ace

      He is absolutely available, but it seems unlikely that the Cubs will want to send the ML-ready pieces to the Reds necessary to get him, given the relatively competitive state of the NL Central. Reds would want at least one ML-ready starter, and Yonder’s kind of fallen off a bit.

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