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Sources: Cubs' Harden, Heilman claimed

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Ken Rosenthal

Ken Rosenthal has been the FOXSports.com's Senior MLB Writer since August 2005. He appears weekly on MLB on FOX, FOX Sports Radio and MLB Network. He's a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter.

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If the Cubs want to point toward the future, this is their chance.

Right-handed starter Rich Harden and right-handed reliever Aaron Heilman have been claimed on waivers, according to major-league sources.

A National League team was awarded the claim on Heilman, one source said. The claiming team on Harden is not known, but presumably he did not get through the NL, either. Players must pass through their own league first before being exposed on waivers to teams in the other league.

The Cubs will have until Monday afternoon to work out trades, allow Harden and Heilman to depart on claims or pull them back them from waivers.

Of the two pitchers, Harden is far more intriguing. He is 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star break, and his .500 opponents' OPS is the second-lowest among NL starters in that stretch, behind only the Phillies' Cliff Lee.

Harden, however, projects as a Type A free agent, so the Cubs could collect two high draft picks if they offer him salary arbitration and lose him on the open market. His status almost certainly will lead the Cubs to demand a high price in a trade, even though a team that acquired Harden only would have him for September.

Among NL contenders, the Giants, Rockies and Dodgers all would figure to have interest in Harden. The Giants, the team with the worst record of the three, would have claiming priority.

Harden is earning $7 million this season, Heilman $1.625 million.

Tagged: Cubs, Aaron Heilman, Rich Harden

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