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.
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.