The Chicago Cubs are among four other teams expressing interest in reliever Edward Mujica, according to MLB Daily Dish.
The Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, and Cleveland Indians are the other teams eying the right-hander.
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim signed Joe Smith to a three-year, $15.75 million deal and Mujica is expected to receive a similar contract.
Mujica, 29, posted a 2-1 record and 2.78 ERA while earning 37 saves as the St. Louis Cardinals’ closer in 2013. Over his eight-year major league career, he is 19-19 with a 3.75 ERA in 381 career appearances.
With Kevin Gregg a free-agent the Cubs will either have Pedro Strop take over the closer duties or sign a late-inning reliever. Strop was acquired by the Cubs in 2013 in a trade with the Orioles for Scott Feldman.
In 2013, Strop appeared in 66 games, going 2-5 with a 4.55 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. These numbers are far too high to be considered a promising candidate as a big league closer. Following the trade to Chicago, he improved his numbers across the board, going 2-2 in 37 appearances in which he amassed a 2.83 ERA – roughly five runs lower than his mark in Baltimore – and lowered his WHIP to 0.943 in the process.
Left-hander James Russell and Strop would set up Mujica if the Cubs acquire him. This would be identical to last year’s set up, when Russell and Strop set up Gregg.