rafael soriano nationalsWhat with the Chicago Cubs’ bullpen needing some help in the early going, following Rafael Soriano’s protracted free agency is something we’ve done for a while now. The Cubs have been connected to the 35-year-old righty intermittently in the last few weeks, and now two more reports have the Cubs in on him.

First, Nick Cafardo reports that the Cubs, Cardinals, and Blue Jays are the teams most aggressively in on Soriano, and he could sign at some point in the next week. Second, Jon Heyman once again connects the Cubs to Soriano and his new agent, Alan Nero (we’ve discussed before the Chicago connection there).

Soriano is expected to throw for interested teams on Thursday in the Dominican Republic, if he doesn’t sign before then. Last year, Soriano was effective in the first half for the Nationals before falling way off, and seeming to lose quality action on his slider. He recently dumped agent Scott Boras in favor of Nero, which could suggest his demands previously were too lofty and there was a difference of opinion on how he should be marketed to teams. It’s conceivable, then, that Soriano could come at a bit of a bargain now. With a correction here and there, it’s still possible┬áthat he could be a quality late-inning option for a team like the Cubs.

Either way, it sounds like we’ll be getting more information in the coming days.

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