By Bruce Levine–
ORLANDO, Fla. (670 The Score) — As closers and setup men continued to come off of the board and sign multi-year deals at the Winter Meetings on Wednesday, a meeting of minds between the Cubs brass and veteran closer Wade Davis continues to become more plausible.
Davis and former teammate Greg Holland were considered the top two closers in the free-agent market. Holland was closing in on a deal to return to the Rockies, according to reports early Wednesday afternoon. The Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Twins and Angels are some of the teams that continue to be in needs of a closer.
Also desiring another strong back-of-the-bullpen stopper is the Cubs, for whom Davis saved 32 games and registered a 2.30 ERA in 2017. The perception that Davis could possibly return to the Cubs has never been lost on executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, who both have stated this week that they remain open to a reunion.
“We certainly have plans to talk with B.B. Abbott while we are here,” Epstein said of Davis’ agent. “Wade was a huge part of the team last year. We are not ruling anything out.”
Davis was used carefully by manager Joe Maddon and the Cubs in the regular season, pitching in 59 games and finishing 56 of them, an indication that he was used almost exclusively in save situations or tie games. That type of approach went a long way with the 32-year-old Davis, who had two stints on the disabled list with forearm injuries with the Royals in 2016. Davis didn’t have any health troubles in 2017 as the training staff and Maddon handled him well.
For Davis to return to the Cubs, it’d have to likely be for fewer years than he originally hoped to receive in free agency. The Cubs want Davis back in the fold if the contract makes sense in dollars and guaranteed years, a source said.
Additionally, the Cubs remain in the mix for free-agent right-hander Alex Cobb, sources said.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.