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Cubs rumors: Ryan Dempster, Dan Haren, Brandon McCarthy

Epstein, Hoyer and co. expect to acquire at least two starters this offseason.

Justin K. Aller

The Chicago Cubs have some financial flexibility this winter and plan to bring at least "a couple quality starters" aboard, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune:

The Cubs don't intend to solve their long-term pitching problems in one offseason, but they do have enough money to fit a couple of quality starters into their rotation.

General manager Jed Hoyer said the Cubs have "pretty significant flexibility" and will be aggressive in free agency.

Hoyer also said that he has had preliminary contact with the representatives of several impending free agents, but that many of the starters on the market will be out of the team's price range. One of the starters that the Cubs would like to bring back but will likely be too expensive, is long-time Cub Ryan Dempster. Hoyer said that the two sides have a "mutual respect", and initial contact has been made, but Dempster may require too much money.

More probable for the Cubs are starters they can acquire as one-year rentals, which Sullivan speculates could rule in the Angels' Dan Haren -- who could be traded as early as today -- or A's right-hander Brandon McCarthy.