With Friday's trade deadline ticking down, the Chicago Cubs continue their efforts to trade for a starting pitcher, however it appears less likely that the club will make a big splash on a pitcher with a big contract such as Cole Hamels.
"I don't necessarily think we're close to trading for a big contract," team president Theo Epstein told reporters Monday. "Certainly, in our position, right now it's not necessarily something we're close to -- giving up a ton of talent and taking on a big contract. Maybe that changes between now and Friday, but right now we're not close to something like that."
On Monday, rumors began swirling that Chicago was close to trading for San Diego Padres right-hander James Shields, who helped the Kansas City Royals advance to the World Series, and who has prior postseason experience with the Tampa Bay Rays under Cubs manager Joe Maddon.
More from FoxSports
But as the night went on, multiple reports put that rumor to bed.
Detroit Tigers ace David Price could be available, but the Cubs are reticent to ship Detroit a cart full of prospects when they can attempt to sign Price in the offseason as a free agent.
So what are the Cubs' options then to strengthen the rotation?
Chicago has reportedly had talks with the Padres about some of their other pitchers such as Ian Kennedy and 2014 All-Star Tyson Ross, 28, who could be attractive to the Cubs because he has another year under contract, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
It appears more likely now the Chicago is going to add to its rotation will be with a rent-a-player such as Kennedy or perhaps, according to the Sun-Times, or one of two Marlins pitchers, Dan Haren or Mat Latos.
(h/t Chicago Sun-Times)