Ken Rosenthal Is Just Toying With Cubs Fans Now
The czar of trade rumors says the Cubs have emerged as a front-runner for the services of one Jacob Peavy, possibly ahead of the Atlanta Braves. It's widely believed the Dodgers are the third team still in play, although Tim Brown as you'll see below mentions the Cardinals. Rosenthal even goes on to suggest that the Cubs may be willing to go 4 years and around $50 million on Dempster to have them both in the rotation for 2009 and beyond.
What's interesting is that the first line of Rosenthal's article seems to neglect someone.
Imagine a Cubs rotation that featured Jake Peavy, Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly.
That someone would of course be Rich Harden, and although the article doesn't suggest any names going back to the Padres, the omission of Harden is a curious one. Chances are it was just an oversight on Rosenthal's part, but myself and some readers have suggested that Rich Harden might be an option for the Padres in a Peavy deal. Yes, the Padres are trying to cut payroll and yes, the Padres are trying to get some players that they'll have control over for four, five or six years, Harden though comes at a cheap price for 2008 considering his talent ($7M). And even though he's set to be a free agent after this year, it would give the Padres quite a bit of leverage for 2008. They could either try and resign Harden to an extension which is the unlikeliest of scenarios. Or they could trade him half way through the season, get out of half his contract and collect even more prospects to reload. They could also just let him pitch all of 2008 and then let him walk and pick up the two draft picks he's likely to fetch for being a type "A" free agent if he doesn't break down.
Rosenthal does say that if the Cubs acquire Peavy and resign Dempster, that pretty much means the end of the Kerry Wood Cubs era.
Tim Brown at Yahoo still says the Braves are the best bet to land Peavy and says that they're already working out contingency plans for players they'd trade away in a deal, as our the Cubs and Cardinals. The Cardinals supposedly said a week or two ago that they weren't willing to give up the types of prospects the Padres were seeking, but things can change quickly.