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Free agent Darvish meets with Cubs' brass

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- Still in the market for a starting pitcher, Cubs executives met with free agent Yu Darvish, according to a tweet by the right-hander.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer flew to Dallas on Monday to meet with Darvish, according to a report by MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. The club has not commented on the meeting.

CHICAGO -- Still in the market for a starting pitcher, Cubs executives met with free agent Yu Darvish, according to a tweet by the right-hander.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer flew to Dallas on Monday to meet with Darvish, according to a report by MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. The club has not commented on the meeting.

Tweet from @dylanohernandez: Darvish acknowledges he met with the Cubs. Wants to improve English, so made it a point to not use an interpreter during 3 1/2 hour meeting. https://t.co/FZjClaHbFl

The Cubs have added Tyler Chatwood to the rotation, signing the right-hander to a three-year, $38 million contract, but are still looking for another starter to join Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana.

Video: Posnanski dishes on Darvish and Cubs meeting

Heyman reports the Cubs also have been in touch with representatives for other free-agent pitchers, including Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, and Lance Lynn. The possibility of Arrieta returning seems like a long shot because of the money his agent, Scott Boras, is expected to demand.

"The road to 'playoffville' is about winning big games at big times," Boras said during the Winter Meetings last week. "One thing that Jake Arrieta's done is he's done that for the Cubs, and they know that. I'm sure they're always going to have interest in acquiring that."

Arrieta was 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 30 starts for the Cubs in 2017, and he won Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers. Darvish beat the Cubs in Game 3 of the NLCS, giving up one run over 6 1/3 innings, but did not get past the second inning in either of his two World Series starts.

Others on the Cubs' radar, who would require a trade, include the Royals' Danny Duffy and the Rays' Chris Archer, according to Heyman.

Darvish, 31, is considered the top starting pitcher on the free-agent market after posting a 10-12 record and 3.86 ERA in 31 starts combined for the Rangers and Dodgers last season. He struck out 209 over 186 2/3 innings. The Rangers and Twins also are reportedly interested in signing the right-hander.

Besides Chatwood, the Cubs have added arms to the bullpen this offseason, acquiring free agents Brandon Morrow and Steve Cishek, and claiming Dario Alvarez off waivers. The Cubs also signed free agent Drew Smyly to a two-year contract, but he is expected to miss 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Yu Darvish