The Cubs are going down to the wire with another top free agent pitcher, as we heard earlier today that Chicago and the Rangers are the final two suitors in the Edwin Jackson sweepstakes. Here are some more items from Wrigley Field...
- The Cubs didn't feel they "were on the cusp" of signing Anibal Sanchez, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney, but rather just one of the teams in the mix to top the Tigers. I'd guess that Detroit was Sanchez's ideal destination all along, given how Sanchez apparently gave the Tigers the final chance to top the Cubs' $77MM proposal and left a larger offer from another team on the table at the Winter Meetings.
- "Carlos Marmol going for a small package of prospects" is the deal that ESPN's Bruce Levine feels is the likeliest trade the Cubs will make before Opening Day. The Cubs will probably have to include a large chunk of Marmol's remaining $9.8MM salary in such a swap given how Marmol is coming off a tough 2012 season that saw him lose his closer's job. Chicago nearly dealt Marmol to the Angels for Dan Haren earlier this winter but that trade fell through due to concerns about Haren's health. Levine also covers a number of other Cubs- and White Sox-related topics in his all-Chicago chat.
- Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago wonders if the Cubs will look to extend both Jeff Samardzija and Matt Garza this offseason. We've heard the Cubs have reached out to Samardzija about an extension though Mooney thinks "there's no rush" given how Samardzija is controlled through 2015 and is a local product. Garza is entering the last year of his current contract and has been the subject of many trade rumors over the last two seasons.