6:52pm: Matthew Leach of MLB.com says not to read too much into word of the Cardinals considering Padilla, although he is likely of "some interest" to them (via Twitter).
5:25pm: The Cubs and Cardinals are in the lead to sign free-agent hurler Vicente Padilla, according to a report from La Prensa passed along by Diamond Notes.
La Prensa's source for the report is Cesar Batista, who is linked to the agency that represents the 32-year-old. Batista says that formal negotiations will not begin until after the winter meetings. The White Sox, Orioles, Nationals, Braves, Mets, Red Sox, and Dodgers have also expressed interest in the righty.