Yu Darvish continues talks with Cubs as they sign former teammate, catcher Chris Gimenez: Reports

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Yu Darvish #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the first inning against the Houston Astros in game seven of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

CHICAGO  – At some point, the Major League Baseball free agent market figures to open up, especially when it comes to free agent pitchers.

The slow pace of the offseason has left a number of big names unsigned as Spring Training now is just a month away. But it appears the Cubs are trying to get things moving a bit this week when it comes to Yu Darvish.

According to Jay Cohen of the Associated Press, the Cubs have continued “active talks” with the former Rangers and Dodgers starter.

Perhaps the Cubs are ramping up their efforts to acquire Darvish since it was reported earlier in the week that division rival Milwaukee has put in a formal offer for the pitcher. Late last year, the pitcher interviewed with the Cubs in english from his home in Texas.

Meanwhile the Cubs reportedly have made another move to perhaps give Darvish another reason to choose Chicago. Per a report from Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, the Cubs have signed catcher Chris Gimenez to a minor league deal.

In 2014 Gimenez was a preferred catcher for Darvish, catching  12 games in the period of time. The pitcher had a 3.29 ERA when he was paired with Gimenez in 79 1/3 innings.

Splitting last season between the Rangers and the Dodgers, Darvish finished with a 10-12 record and a 3.86 ERA. He pitched in four playoff games for Los Angeles, allowing just one earned run in wins over the Diamondbacks in NLDS and the Cubs in the NLCS.

Darvish struggled in the World Series against the Astros, allowing four earned runs in Game 3 and Game 7, never getting out of the second inning in a pair of Dodgers’ losses.