The Cubs still could make a splash this winter. They are in a big group of teams that is exploring a deal with Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman (left), who had a tryout last weekend in Houston. He's a potential front-of-the-rotation starter and could get to the big leagues in a hurry. … Are the Yankees quietly stalking Matt Holliday? They have insisted they aren't, but others aren't as sure. The Cardinals are remaining patient in their talks with Holliday, who doesn't appear to have generated a big market elsewhere. … The Angels are reeling after John Lackey's signing in Boston. They wasted some time pursuing a trade for Javier Vazquez, who has no-trade protection against deals to teams on the West Coast. … The Giants' pursuit of a hitter or two has been impeded by the uncertainty over how much two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum could make in arbitration. Like the Yankees, they are interested in Mark DeRosa but aren't buying his request for a three-year, $20 million deal. … Having overplayed his hand with the Red Sox, Jason Bay could be headed to the Mets. … The Braves are among the teams talking to Johnny Damon. GM Ken Williams confirms the White Sox explored their fit with him, but "economics" sent them in Juan Pierre's direction. Damon apparently wanted two years, $22 million to re-sign with the Yankees. … Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox is not nearly the long shot it was at the start of the offseason. The Red Sox are in position to trade Clay Buchholz and maybe Jacoby Ellsbury after adding Lackey and Mike Cameron. Two years from free agency, this might be the time for the Padres to get their best return on Gonzalez.
Chicago Cubs interested in Cuban left-hander