The Cubs, seeking more versatility for their bench, are talking to the Orioles about a trade for disgruntled utility man Ryan Freel, according to major-league sources.
Freel, 33, plays all three outfield positions, plus second and third base. The revival of Kosuke Fukudome and emergence of Micah Hoffpauir have left the Cubs more in need of an infielder than an outfielder.
If the Cubs acquire Freel, who has approximately $3.3 million remaining in 2009 salary, they likely would part with outfielder Joey Gathright, who has batted only 14 times this season. The Orioles are believed to be talking to other teams as well.
Roch is also saying the Freel is as good as gone.
I don't think any talent will be coming back - if a team is even willing to eat Freel's salary, that's a win for the O's. He was only included in the Ramon trade to take the edge off the salary increase for the Reds.