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Cubs could be targeting Alex Cobb in Javier Baez talks with Rays

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Reports surfaced earlier today that the Rays have been in talks with the Cubs about a trade for young slugger Javier Baez. As for a possible return package for Chicago, most of the speculation has centered around late-inning relievers Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger and starters Drew Smyly, Matt Moore, Jake Odorizzi, and Erasmo Ramirez. However, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times hears that an interesting name has come up in talks:

Cobb wouldn’t be able to help the Cubs right away. The 28-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery in May and will likely be sidelined until the second half next year. There’s big-time upside if he comes back healthy, though. Cobb had a 2.82 ERA in 49 starts from 2013-2014.

Cobb made $4 million in 2015 and is arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter. He’s under team control through 2017.

Cubs to activate Craig Kimbrel on Thursday

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The Cubs will activate reliever Craig Kimbrel ahead of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Braves, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.

Kimbrel, 31, ended a seven-month stint in free agency, agreeing to a three-year, $43 million contract with the Cubs earlier this month. He has made four minor league appearances, allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

With an aggregate 3.96 ERA entering Wednesday, the Cubs’ bullpen has been among the better bullpens in the league. Adding Kimbrel, one of the greatest closers of all-time, certainly can’t hurt and will give them some stability in save situations.