UPDATE: The clubs are close to a deal that would send Wilson to Chicago, according to a report. Click here for full details on the pending trade.
ORIGINAL: The Cubs are “working hard” to land Tigers reliever Justin Wilson, FOX’s Ken Rosenthal reports. Detroit is likely to trade Wilson by the end of the night, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
Detroit is said to like Cubs prospect Jeimer Candelario, who is out of the lineup at Triple-A Iowa tonight. The clubs have also discussed Tigers catcher Alex Avila in talks, so a package deal is possible.
About 10 teams have been linked to the Wilson sweepstakes to this point, though the Cubs, Dodgers, Astros and Nationals, are seen as the favorites. Wilson, along with San Diego’s Brad Hand and Baltimore’s Zach Britton, is viewed as one of the top available relievers on the market.
The Cubs have been lurking in the background of the relief market, making less headlines than their competitors in Washington, Los Angeles or Houston. If Wilson heads to Chicago, he would close next season if Wade Davis departs in free agency while giving the club an excellent late-relief option for the rest of this year.
Houston is known to be looking for elite relief help, but a major-league source indicated earlier in the weekend that Detroit’s asking price for Wilson was considered very high. The Astros (and the Dodgers, for that matter) have one of the strongest farm systems in baseball, so the club may be willing to part with some key young pieces to land Wilson.
Wilson, who turns 30 next month, owns a 2.68 ERA and 12.3 K/9 in 40.1 innings for Detroit this season. His trade value is aided by his contract situation, as he is owed $2.7 million this year and is under control for 2018.