Cubs' Harden, Heilman claimed

Chicago Cubs pitchers Rich Harden and Aaron Heilman have been claimed off waivers by contending teams, according to industry sources.

An American League source with knowledge of the process indicated the Minnesota Twins may be the team that claimed Harden. He will become a free agent after the 2009 season.

Claiming a player off waivers allows both teams 72 hours to work out a deal. The selling team can get a player back in a trade, let the player go without compensation or pull the player back from waivers.

Indications are the Cubs will not just drop salary, but they'll want legitimate prospects back for the two players.

Three National League West teams had scouts watching Harden and Heilman pitch on Wednesday night. The San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies,and the Los Angeles Dodgers all have interest in pitching help.

Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com.