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Cubs Reportedly Working Hard to Land Justin Wilson (UPDATES: Reportedly Close)

Chicago Cubs Rumors

[SEE UPDATES BELOW]

No sooner than I’d published the rumor mill update than two of its main components probably just got connected by Ken Rosenthal:


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Wilson is reportedly expected to be dealt tonight, but because of his favorable contract situation (he’s making just $2.7 million this year before one more year of arbitration next year), he is a very popular trade target.

With the Cubs holding out both Jeimer Candelario and Mark Zagunis from the starting lineup tonight for Iowa, you do at least have to wonder whether there are talks going on, and the Cubs are being cautious about not getting potential trade pieces injured at the last minute.


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Wilson, 29, has seen his walk rate spike this year to 10.2% after being in the 7ish% range the last two years, but his strikeout rate has also rocketed up to an elite 35.0%. He doesn’t get many grounders, and he has given up his fair share of hard contact this year (hence the 1.12 HR/9 rate), but he also gets a whole lot of weak contact.

Suffice it to say, Wilson is a guy you’d love to have in the bullpen, and is a guy who would cost a quality prospect package in return. The Cubs could lose Wade Davis, Koji Uehara, and Brian Duensing to free agency, too, so having Wilson in the bag for 2018 would be mighty nice.


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So, some pieces fit, if we’re going to do some speculating on top of Rosenthal’s report. To be sure, nothing is done yet:

UPDATE: A little more confirmation, and a specific mention of Candelario:

Candelario is a very good prospect, but in this market, elite relievers with cheap team control cost very good prospects.

UPDATE 2: An earlier report today had the Cubs and Tigers still engaging on catcher Alex Avila, and it could be a combo situation:

In the earlier post, I said this: “So, then, do I think the Cubs will land Avila? Well, if it’s a bigger combo deal for Avila and an arm like Justin Wilson? Hey, go big, I guess.”

Cubs going big, perhaps?

UPDATE 3: Out of Detroit, a report that makes it sound like a deal is hardly close to consummated:

Fenech adds in a written report that the chances the Tigers keep Wilson are “non-zero.” I would add that the Cubs are off tomorrow, and the Tigers don’t play until three hours after the Trade Deadline. This could go deep.

UPDATE 4: Stay ready, my friends:


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.