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Cubs - Jordan Zimmermann Rumors Shot Down

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Tonight's rumor was quickly quashed.

Patrick Smith

UPDATE: Multiple tweets after Wittenmyer's article was published denied any deal of thus sort was being worked on, so you can stand down. As I said, consider the source! Now here's the rest of the original post.

Consider the source -- I know you always do -- but there's a report Tuesday evening that the Cubs are in discussions to acquire a top starting pitcher:

That tweet links to this Gordon Wittenmyer article in the Sun-Times, which says:

Zimmermann, 28, would be a younger, potentially less-expensive alternative to the higher-end free agents on the market this off-season, though the player package to acquire him would have to include at least one of their touted young middle infielders, sources say.

One source said the teams have enough mutual interest that names have been discussed. Another said he expected the Cubs to complete the deal – along with Cardinals free agent Justin Masterson, who blamed minor injuries for season-long struggles in 2014 after a 2013 All-Star season.

We've discussed Masterson here before and I'd like the Cubs to take that flyer, similar to what they did with Paul Maholm, Scott Feldman and Jason Hammel the last three years. Those are all pitchers like Masterson, who had success then were coming off injury-plagued years. All produced for the Cubs, then were traded in useful deals for prospects.

Zimmermann, though, is in the prime of his career at 28; he had what was arguably the best year of his career in 2014, posting a 2.66 ERA (seventh in the N.L.), a 1.072 WHIP and 4.9 bWAR. He completed his 2014 season by throwing a no-hitter against the Marlins on September 28.

Wittenmyer's article says the deal might include "at least one of their touted young middle infielders." More than one -- I don't think I'd be in favor of that. But one? Well, that's one thing you do with prospects, turn them into solid major-league players. Zimmermann would instantly become the best pitcher in the Cubs' rotation. He's signed through 2015 at $16.5 million and could be a candidate for an extension.

Depending on what's given up, I'd be all in favor of this deal. What about you?