Capps loves Cubs, but market is hot

The perception that the Cubs have a leg up in signing recently released bullpen pitcher Matt Capps could be just that, a perception. Although the former Pirates closer would love to pitch for the Cubs, upwards of 12 teams have contacted Capps' agent, Paul Kinzer, to discuss parameters of a deal.

"Matt has interest in the Cubs," Kinzer said. "We know they like him, but we'll be proactive in this market. You can' t just wait for one team."

So far it is known that the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals, Florida Marlins and Texas Rangers, along with the Cubs, want Capps.

The going rate for a pitcher like Capps will be somewhere in the area of $3 million to $4 million. Capps would like a multiyear deal.

At least three of the teams want Capps to be their closer. The right-handed pitcher is just 26 and had 27 saves in 2009.

The Georgia native was 4-8 with a 5.80 ERA in 57 games, finishing 50 for the 2009 Pirates.

"If the Cubs have [serious] interest in Matt, they'll be a top consideration for him," Kinzer said. "But the interest in him in just two days has been enormous."

The perception is the Cubs have no extra payroll money to sign free agents. However, that could change with one meeting between general manager Jim Hendry and his owners.

Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com.