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Cubs continue to cautiously eye free-agent market

The Chicago Cubs recently inked right-handed pitcher Edwin Jackson to a four-year deal, but that doesn't mean they're done shopping the free-agent market.

Jonathan Daniel

Having already signed pitcher Edwin Jackson to a four-year, $52 million deal, the Chicago Cubs are still in the market to build their roster through free agency. But Theo Epstein and co. aren't going to be roped into any bad deals, writes CSN Chicago's Patrick Mooney.

There are still several big-ticket free agents on the market that would fit Chicago's needs, such as outfielder Michael Bourn and relief pitcher Rafael Soriano, but those players could be pricey, and they would result in the loss of the Cubs' second-round pick in the next amateur draft. That's something Epstein will consider before making any move:

"There aren't multiple paths into the amateur marketplace anymore," Epstein told Boston radio station WEEI. "In the past, you could give up a high pick and realize you were going to overpay someone later on. You could give up a couple draft picks and realize that you'd just go out and try to dominate international free agency that year. You just don't have the ability to do those things anymore."

Even with players like Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Marmol under contract, the Cubs would like to upgrade their outfield and bullpen. Signing Bourn and Soriano could certainly achieve that goal in the short term, but Epstein isn't known for making short-sighted decisions:

"I don't want to talk specifically about the remaining free agents or our plans in general, but I'll say you can't be dogmatic about it," Epstein told WEEI. "Clearly, there are major-league free agents who are talented enough to justify surrendering a first-round pick and certainly a second-round pick. You're acquiring the asset.

"It all depends on -- not just the player -- but the contract and then potentially what you could get out of the player in terms of contributions on the field or a potential trade down the road."