The Cubs have talked to Jeff Francis about filling a spot in the back end of their rotation, tweets ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Crasnick says the team has also had discussions with Paul Maholm, which we heard last week from Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.
Multiple reports last night suggested that the Cubs and Reds were close to working out a trade involving Travis Wood and Sean Marshall. If the two sides were to reach an agreement, the Cubs' acquisition of Wood would likely take them out of the running for arms like Francis and Maholm. However, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer hears from a source that no trade is imminent yet.