No Price-Maddon reunion in Chicago
Former Rays lefty reportedly signs lucrative free-agent deal with Red Sox
CHICAGO -- During the Cubs' Interleague series in June against the Tigers, Joe Maddon was asked about the soon-to-be free agent David Price, and whether the lefty would be interested in reuniting in Chicago with his former Rays manager.
"David and I are friends," Maddon said at the time. "I've often said in the past he's one of the best teammates I've ever been around. [Free agency] is something that's a process that has to be worked out, and I wish him the best with it. He's a unique individual."
Price now is truly unique. The lefty has reportedly signed a seven-year, $217 million deal with the Red Sox, the largest contract ever for a pitcher.
The Cubs have made it clear they are in the market for more starting pitching, but not at that price -- no pun intended. Last winter, they splurged when they signed Jon Lester to a six-year, $155 million deal, the largest contract in franchise history.
With Lester, 22-game winner Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs aren't looking for another ace, but more depth in the rotation, which would eliminate free agent Zack Greinke, who most likely will demand Price-like compensation. The Cubs also are in search of someone to fill the large gap in center field created by Dexter Fowler's departure.
During the General Managers Meetings last month in Boca Raton, Fla., Cubs executives not only met with representatives for free agents, but also discussed possible trades. There were reports that the Cubs were one of several teams to talk to the Braves about pitchers Shelby Miller and Julio Teheran.
According to MLB.com's Mark Bowman, at least 15 different teams have expressed an interest in Miller, 25, over the past couple of weeks. Braves general manager John Coppolella was reportedly seeking an everyday bat for the right-hander, who posted a 3.02 ERA in 33 starts for the Braves last season.
ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reported Tuesday that the Braves are interested in Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler, who batted .262 with 10 home runs, 18 doubles and 47 RBIs in 101 games last season. Right now, the Braves list Nick Markakis and Nick Swisher as their options in right field.
The Cubs and free agent Jeff Samardzija have discussed a possible reunion, too. The right-hander did benefit from pitching coach Chris Bosio's tutelage, but he may be seeking more years and money than the Cubs want to commit to. Plus, Samardzija would cost the Cubs a Draft pick after rejecting a qualifying offer from the White Sox.