David Price and the Cubs might not be a match after all

For months, many in the baseball industry have speculated that free-agent left-hander David Price will sign with the Chicago Cubs. The fit is too perfect: The Cubs need a starter, Chicago is reasonably close to Price’€™s home in Nashville, and Price would love a reunion with manager Joe Maddon.

Increasingly, though, I’€™m not convinced that’€™s how the story will end.

The Cubs have had discussions with numerous free-agent starters, with one source placing the number at 10 pitchers or more. John Lackey — a close friend of Cubs starter Jon Lester — is one of them, as our Ken Rosenthal has reported. Jeff Samardzija is another; he met with Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein this week, according to Phil Rogers of MLB.com.

Meanwhile, the Cubs are in the midst of active trade talks with multiple clubs. The Indians, Padres and Braves are among the teams with starting pitchers available. And if the Cubs are so inclined, they have the sort of elite prospects to overwhelm the A’€™s (Sonny Gray) or Marlins (Jose Fernandez), regardless of those teams’€™ public stances regarding their young aces.

Are the Cubs still interested in Price? Of course. But don’€™t be surprised if they instead opt to sign a lower-cost starter and trade for another. Epstein has rebuilt the Cubs well, to the point that writing a huge check to the biggest name isn’€™t their only option.