Cubs interested in Brandon McCarthy and Shaun Marcum

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According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times the Cubs “already have expressed interest in” Brandon McCarthy and “another buy-low candidate the Cubs are eyeing” is Shaun Marcum.

General manager Jed Hoyer indicated that the Cubs will probably try to sign some veterans to reasonably priced one- or two-year deals, like they did last offseason with Paul Maholm and David DeJesus.

Whether or not health-related question marks are enough to drop McCarthy or Marcum into that sort of contract range remains to be seen, but Hoyer called the short-term, bounce-back deals “a good model of contract that really served us well.”

It’s no surprise that the Cubs are pursuing veteran starting pitching on the free agent market considering they nearly acquired Dan Haren from the Angels for Carlos Marmol before that deal fell apart at the last minute.

Josh Donaldson is still seeking a long-term deal with the Blue Jays

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If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.

“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.

Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.