Some late-night links on this Saturday night …
- The Pirates are considering exercising shortstop Ronny Cedeno's $3MM 2012 option, but they will likely pass on options for Chris Snyder ($6.75MM), Ryan Doumit ($7.25MM) and Paul Maholm ($9.75MM), according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. As well, Langosch adds the Bucs have interest in re-signing first baseman Derrek Lee but will probably allow Ryan Ludwick to walk in free agency.
- MLB and the players union are close on a new collective bargaining agreement, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.com, although slotting for draft signing bonuses remains an issue of debate. Commissioner Bud Selig and some small-market teams are in favor of hard slotting, according to Heyman.
- Cubs president Theo Epstein said he wants to talk to starter Carlos Zambrano before deciding how to proceed in handling the right-hander, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, whether that be retaining Zambrano or trying to trade him. As well, Epstein hinted at one of the organization's overarching goals: "We're looking for assets," Epstein said. "We're going to scratch and claw and do everything in our power — in the Draft, internationally, small trades, waiver claims. We need to build assets because we don't have enough of them.
- Royals GM Dayton Moore told Dick Kaegel of MLB.com that he will "explore trade possibilities to add a starter." Moore said the Royals probably won't try to sign a free-agent starter, however.