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Cubs continue talks with free-agent Yu Darvish as spring training looms

Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Baseball

The Cubs continue talks with Yu Darvish this week as the slow-motion pursuit of the free agent pitcher appears to be picking up.

The Cubs and Brewers are both pursuing Darvish, along with the Rangers, Twins and a few others.

An Associated Press report on Monday said the Cubs talks are "active." President Theo Epstein has made no secret of the fact he Cubs would like to add another starter before the season, and Darvish seemingly is at the top of his list.

The Cubs traveled to Dallas in December to talk to Darvish, and later shot down a rumor that a deal was done.

With spring training approaching, most players want to know where they're headed so they can make housing arrangements for themselves and their families. But plenty of free agents are expected to be signed during spring training due to the sluggish market, and there doesn't seem to be any big rush.

Chris Gimenez, a back-up catcher for the Twins who signed a minor league deal with the Cubs, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune he'd joked with Darvish recently about being a "package deal" on the free agent market. Gimenez previously caught Darvish in Texas.

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"He laughed," Gimenez said. "He said, 'Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.' "

But Gimenez admitted he hadn't spoken with Darvish in a while.

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