MLB roundup: Cubs interested in Joba Chamberlain, John Axford

Jim Rogash

While everyone else is focused on Robinson Cano and Seattle, the Cubs are looking at two free agent relievers. Hall of Famer Dave Winfield is leaving the Padres front office. The Orioles are mulling over their rotation, and the White Sox are making cuts.

Free agent reliever Joba Chamberlain is drawing interest from the Cubs and the Royalsaccording to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. Chamberlain has never managed to recapture the magic of his first 24 innings in the majors, when he posted a 0.38 ERA down the stretch for the Yankees in 2007. Last season, he posted a 4.93 ERA over 42 innings for New York and grabbed headlines over a public dispute with legendary closer Mariano Rivera.

Cubs also interested in Axford

The Cubs are also looking at former Brewers closer John Axford as a possible ninth-inning solution on the North Side, according to Dayn Perry of CBS Eye on Sports. Axford struggled in his last two seasons with the Brewers, posting a 4.02 ERA in 65 innings in 2012 and starting the year with a 4.45 ERA in Milwaukee last season. However, he pitched well after being dealt to St. Louis late in the season, posting a 1.74 ERA in 10 innings with the Cardinals.

Winfield leaves San Diego for MLBPA

Hall of Famer Dave Winfield is leaving the Padres front office for a job with the MLB Players Associationreports Andrew Simon of Winfield had been serving as a senior vice president for San Diego, but it is not clear exactly what his role with the club was in that position. He will now take on the equally vague responsibilities of the special assistant to new executive director Tony Clark.

Matusz back to starting in Baltimore

The Orioles will give lefty Brian Matusz another shot at making the starting rotation this spring, according to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun. The 26-year-old split time between the bullpen and the rotation in 2012, but worked exclusively out of pen last season, posting a 3.53 ERA in 51 innings of work. Once a top-10 prospect as a starter by Baseball America's rankings, Matusz lost out on the chance to start last spring when the Orioles gave the nod to Jake Arrieta.

South Siders outright 2 to minors

The White Sox have outrighted outfielder Blake Tekotte and first baseman Mike McDade to Triple-A Charlotte. Tekotte hit .226/.306/.355 in 36 plate appearances for the White Sox last season and spent most of the year in Charlotte, hitting .254/.313/.390. With Thursday's signing of Ronald Belisario, this moves leaves the White Sox's 40-man roster with two open spots, possibly indicating deals to come.

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