Cubs May Have Made Undisclosed Offer to Rays for Closer Alex Colomé

Rays closer Alex Colomé has been garnering a lot of interest at the Winter Meetings, and for good reason. The soon-to-be 29-year-old has racked up 84 saves over the last two seasons and is under team control for three more years. He’s projected to receive $5.5 million in his first year of arbitration, so even subsequent raises would keep his average value much lower than elite free-agent stoppers.

We discussed on Monday the possibility that the Cubs “may be in there” on Colomé, but now comes additional word that offers may be on the table. In his “Winter meetings journal” piece from Tuesday evening, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times snuck in a little blurb about Colomé’s market.

They have undisclosed offers for closer Alex Colome, with the Cubs, Cardinals, Mets and Rockies (despite signing Brian Shaw on Tuesday) in hottest pursuit.

It’s important to note that this does not actually say the Cubs have made an offer, only that there are “undisclosed offers” and the Cubs are known to be “in hottest pursuit.” One could reasonably assume that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer put together one of those offers, but this is far from definitive.

Colomé’s relatively low salary, club control, and familiarity with both Joe Maddon and Jim Hickey all speak volumes for the Cubs’ reported interest. Add in their recent trend of trading for closers and you’ve got even more reason to think they very well be seriously pursuing this.

The Rays can’t and won’t demand nearly as much for their closer as for their ace starter — Topkin briefly mentions Chris Archer immediately after Colomé — but he surely won’t come cheap. As I noted in that earlier piece, it’s hard to imagine the Cubs being able to offer more in terms of young pitching and outfield prospects than what either the Cards or Rockies are likely willing to part with.

Topkin afforded this matter only a fraction of the words I’ve now used, so he’s clearly not too hyped up about something happening with it immediately. This is the second time we’ve heard about it in as many days, though, and it’s hard to ignore some of the signs that point to it making sense in terms of what the Cubs like to do.

I guess we’ll find out soon enough whether there’s actually any fire underneath this smoke.

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