The Cubs also are interested in trading for Padres ace Jake Peavy, but must trim salary elsewhere to do it. Some reports have Marquis possibly being part of a package for Peavy, but the Padres also have their payroll concerns. Marquis, 30, is in the final year of a three-year, $21 million deal.
The Rockies are known to be seeking a front-of-the-rotation talent, or someone at least better than a No. 4 or No. 5 starter. Marquis has had games and stretches where he looked to fit the bill, but also has been inconsistent enough that he is 79-70 with a 4.55 ERA in 257 career games, including 198 starts, with the Braves, Cardinals and Cubs.
Also, the Cubs are in the market for a versatile left-handed hitter who can play right field. The Rockies don't have an exact match on their bench, although they do have the right-handed-hitting Jeff Baker, who has played every infield position but shortstop in the Majors and can play both outfield corners. However, initial discussions did not go into what the Rockies could send the Cubs' way.
The Twins, meanwhile, are getting interest from the Rockies and several other teams -- the Giants and Phillies, most prominently -- in right-handed-hitting outfielder Delmon Young.
Another question the Rockies will need to answer during the Winter Meetings, which started officially on Monday, is whether they can get an attractive enough offer to part with right-handed reliever Huston Street.
Several clubs were interested in Street before the Rockies acquired him last month from the Athletics in the Matt Holliday trade -- the Twins and Indians among them. With the Rockies having Street and Manuel Corpas as potential closers and several other desirable right-handers, they can afford to keep Street unless they receive an ideal offer.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.