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Chicago Cubs interested in former Blue Jay B.J. Ryan

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Cubs appear to have interest in former Toronto Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan.

Ryan, who was released from the Blue Jays last week, is expected to clear waivers Friday, and all indication is that the Cubs will be interested in signing him.

The Tribune says that the Cubs could move Sean Marshall into the rotation to make room for Ryan.

Once he clears waivers the Blue Jays will be on the hook for most of they money, so from a financial standpoint this deal totally makes sense for the Cubs.

Ryan was put on waivers with $15 million remaining on his five-year, $47 million deal, and any team that claims him would have to pay the freight. After Ryan clears waivers, he becomes a free agent, and any team can sign him for $200,000 in '09 and $400,000 in '10.

I would expect given how affordable Ryan is that several teams will be interested; however, the Cubs are the first team that has shown any public interest.

Last week a report in the Cleveland Plain dealer indicated that the Indians had no interest in signing Ryan.

If the Cubs do sign Ryan it's possible that they could send him down to the minors to get some work in before promoting him to the big leagues.

Marshall has been excellent for the Cubs since replacing Neal Cotts in the bullpen in May. He is 3-6 on the year with a 4.01 ERA, but since he was moved to the bullpen he has only allowed three runs in his last 15 2/3 innings.

All in all it would be a very smart pickup for the Cubs. It will cost them $600,000 to sign him for two years. Worst case he bombs out and they lose AROD's lunch money, but the best case is they get an effective left-handed reliever for really cheap.