Wednesday Cubs Hot Stove Round-Up

All quiet on the Western front...

- The Braves have contacted Ryan Dempster's agent. Dave O'Brien guesses that Dempster will still sign with the Cubs and says the Cubs have offered a three year/$36 million deal which Dempster wants to make sure isn't too much of a hometown discount.

- Dave van Dyck of the Tribune throws out Bobby Abreu and Derek Lowe's name but it's all speculation on his part. He says the pitching market was already set by Kyle Lohse's 4/$41M deal and Dempster should expect more than that.

- An AP article in the Herald where it says Jake Peavy and his agent want the Padres to focus on three teams. Houston and St. Louis are likely out of the picture, so that means the Cubs, Dodgers and Braves in all likelihood. It claims Towers is looking for two major leaguers and prospects in return. Earlier, Towers said is was about the quality of players, not the quantity. It's been reported that the Padres would like to deal Peavy sooner, rather than later. Towers did say he's "down the road" with two of those three teams.

- Rosenthal thinks Rafael Furcal is a good bet to stay with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

- Here's a name that I hadn't thought of for the Cubs - Kelly Johnson of the Braves. 10 teams have called about him and although the Rosenthal article doesn't mention the Cubs specifically, he could be a good fit for the top of the order, lefty bat the Cubs are in search of. He struggled for the most part last year until a huge September saved his season numbers, but he was bothered by knee issues for much of the season.


UPDATE: The Sun-Times says the Cubs interest in Peavy is "limited", but they do have "deep interest" in Sabathia and possibly some in A.J. Burnett. They also say that Raul Ibanez and Brian Roberts are on the Cubs radar.


UPDATE #2: A quick blurb that the Cubs might be a spot for Aaron Heilman. A name that has been linked to the Cubs in previous off-seasons. Mets might make a run at Dempster as well.


Ok congratulations to Mr. Obama, and now can we please get back to talking about Jake (and Katie!) Peavy.

The Trib is saying that Nick Swisher is available in trade talks. He had a pretty weak year in 2008, but in the past he's been a very good OBP source and has some 25-35 HR pop. Could play RF, or could be stretched to play CF. How do the White Sox and Cubs match up for a trade of that sort? I hear they need 2B and CF. Any possibility that we offer them some combination of Fontenot, Theriot, Cedeno, Pie, Johnson? I would think a Pie/Cedeno deal might get it done, but I don't really know much about the White Sox's needs or Swisher's contract. I don't even know how many years he has left or how aggressively the Sox are going to shop him. I'd also be banking on Swisher bouncing back in 2009, which is never a sure thing. Maybe the Cubs try to get both Swish and Vasquez in big trade.

<p> Swisher was supposedly Plan B if the Cubs didn't sign Fukudome.  He had a .255 BABIP last year so expect a certain level of bounce back. I fear the White Sox will be asking for 2007 Swisher prices rather than 2008 though. </p> <p> Certainly not a bad idea in my idea what they'd be realistically looking for though. Pie seems like a give-in, beyond that, dont' know. </p> <p> &nbsp; </p>

Swisher is signed through 2011 w/ a club option for 2012. Very affordable rate though: 2009: $5.3M 2010: $6.75M 2011: $9M club option 2012: $10.25M (w/ $1M buyout)

Okay, it'd definitely take more than Pie and Cedeno to get it done then. They'd want some pitching and maybe a better infield prospect, which I'm not sure the Cubs have. Taking all money along with Swish and Vasquez might help get a deal done if trading for both (though the Cubs would obviously have to send over more players), but I would think the Cubs only get involved for both if they fail to re-sign Dempster.

De Luca's Sun Times article says the Cubs' interest in Peavy is only limited. That doesn't seem to jive with Towers being "down the road" with two teams, unless the Dodgers are ready to give up big time prospects.,CST-SPT-deluca05.article

<p> they had their golf meeting two days ago, that probably qualifies as down the road... </p> <p> here's what I want, here's some of the names we're offering... </p> <p> Cubs won't get too aggressive unless Dempster goes somewhere else. </p>

to the offseason agents might be pushing for deals and signing bonuses to be finalized before Jan 1st to avoid the tax rate hike.

I just can't see the Padres dealing Peavy to the dodgers.

Cubs first Free Agent move of the winter FRAA in parenthesis Maddux, Molina (10), A. Gonzalez (0), B. Phillips (13), J. Rollins(3), D. Wright (-4), S. Victorino (3), N. McLouth (-16), C. Beltran (-1)

-16. Wow. I didn't realize McLouth was that horrible in CF. Yet further proof that these mean nothing.

What players actually led these positions in FRAA? Seems like Phillips and Molina are the only guys who won who might be the best SABER choice. Soto and Piniella win Pujols and Lincecum for MVP and Cy Young <i>Heard a snippet on the ESPN1000 update that Levine is reporting that the Cubs are talking to the Marlins about Jeremy Hermida and Scott Olsen.</i> <i>The Cubs are willing to give Ryan Dempster a four-year contract, major-league sources say, a decision that should put them in good position to retain the free-agent right-hander.</i>

My prediction is $9 million, $13, then two at $15 - four years $52 million. I think on the open market he'd probably get $60.

Tony Jackson, Dodgers beat writer, thinks that the Dodgers offered Manny 3/$72. Obviously, if it's true, it would be the largest contract in Dodgers history.

I'm pretty sure they signed Kevin Brown to more.

Largest contract in annual salary, not overall worth.

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