All-Star reliever Jesse Crain is reportedly receiving interest from the Chicago Cubs, tweets Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com. Of course, Crain's medicals will play a big role in the Cubs' involvement.
The Cubs have expressed some interest in former White Sox set up man Jesse Crain . Checking medical s as are several clubs.— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) December 24, 2013
The 32-year-old Crain has spent the last three years with the Cubs' cross-town rival White Sox, after spending the prior seven seasons with the Minnesota Twins. During his 10-year career, one spent entirely in relief, Crain has a 3.05 ERA (143 ERA+) and 11.6 WAR. His best season came last year, when he posted a 0.74 ERA (586 ERA+) with 46 strikeouts and a career-high 2.4 WAR in 38 appearances, en route to his first All-Star nod.
Unfortunately, Crain's terrific 2013 campaign ended early when he strained his right shoulder in late June, and thus spent the remainder of the season on the disabled list. Not expecting his injury to take him out for the rest of the year, the Tampa Bay Rays traded for the right-hander on July 29th in exchange for two players to be named later (Ben Kline and Sean Bierman), as an attempt to bolster their bullpen for the stretch run. Though the Rays did activate him from the DL on September 23rd, he failed to make an appearance for Tampa Bay.