Cubs rumors

9:32 PM CST Embedded in this non news worthy Jayson Stark report that the Peavy deal isn't imminent because blah, blah, blah... is a Sportcenter video of John Kruk waxing euphoric on what Jake Peavy would mean to the Cubs in Wrigley Field if he brought them a World Championship. Go Kruk Go! (Cubster)

8:32 PM CST Jeff Passan from Yahoo sports says the "lone holdup" in the Cubs getting Peavy is that they need to off-load Jason Marquis and his $9.875 million salary. (Cubster)

8:29 PM CST: Rumor has it that Towers and Hendry will be drinking single malt scotch whiskey and discussing whether they are close to closing the really closely guarded information regarding the now 32 player deal involving the entirety of all MLB clubs. Bruce Levine had his stealth listening device against the door of Towers' suite although the meeting apparently was in Hendry's suite. Once BL firgured this out it didn't matter anyway as even a juicy report on ESPN 1000 was going to be pre-empted by the Bulls game tonight. David Kaplan's WGN radio show had a scheduled interview with "the phenomenal" Mrs. Katie Peavy but was pre-empted by WGN's news analysis of the Governor Blajojevich scandal. (Cubster)

7:46 PM CST: New rule, if you use the word "close" to describe any potential deal, you will be arrested and publicly flogged. Cory Brock is the latest at MLB.com.This comes four hours after he wrote talks were slowing and their was some reluctance on the Cubs part.

Nonetheless, the latest article has a quote from Towers that it "looks more
likely today than yesterday.
" and so on and so on. (Rob G.) 


7:24 PM CST:  Hey, the deal is close, no really, this is the one folks!!! Chuck Garfien at CSN Chicago is the latest to suck us in with that headline. He also said there was suppose to be a media appearance by Hendry at 6:30PM CST, but doesn't seem like that happened. (Rob G.) 


5:01 PM CST: More from Wittenmyer:

"One intriguing name on the Cubs' radar is Garret Anderson...."

Yes, that's very intriguing that the Cubs want to field an inferior team next season.

- Stark says the Cubs won't move DeRosa unless they sign a left-handed hitting outfielder first and that the Phils and Cubs are both very interested in Ibanez. (Rob G.) 


4:40 PM CST: Twitter post from Gordon Wittenmyer of the not-yet-bankrupt Chicago Sun-Times:

Cubs met with Randy Johnson's agent Monday night and sources confirm their plan to explore signing him if Peavy falls through.

(Cubnut)


4:20 PM CST: A summary just doesn't do this story justice...

I talked to a high-ranking Cubs official last night and ran that whole Carlos Silva-for-Kosume Fukudome trade rumor by him. He nearly choked on his beverage laughing. While the thing has a nice, symetrical feel to it, with both players owed three years and more than $30 million each, the official assured me he would "fall out of my (bleeping) chair'' if such a trade went through. And no, for the record, he has not heard that one is in the works. 

(Rob G.) 


2:39 PM CST: Yahoo has a story with a quote from Towers saying he doesn't believe the deal has "lost steam" in the last 24 hours (of course he doesn't, he needs the deal done more than the Cubs do). The article also says the four-team deal is a bit too complex for the Cubs' tastes and they feel they're giving up too much. Another Randy Johnson mention as well. 

Unfortunately, I'm gonna go radio silent for a few hours here myself. (Rob G.)


2:15 PM CST: Padres beat writer, Tom Krasovic throws some more cold water on the fire, saying the Padres aren't really interested in J.A. Happ or Chris Coste or Ronny Cedeno for that matter. (Rob G.)


2:00 PM CST: BP has a "crazy rumor" that the Cubs would try and move Carlos Zambrano if they landed Jake Peavy. In an earlier update, Perrotto says the Peavy deal would be:

O's: Felix Pie
Cubs: Peavy
Padres: Olson, Marshall, Hart, Cedeno & Vitters

He indicates the Phils might make it a 4-team deal and send Happ and possibly catcher Lou Marson to the Padres presumably for Mark DeRosa. 

- Indians are "close" to signing Kerry Wood to a 2-year deal. As Cubster pointed out, the Cubs play the Indians this season. (Rob G.)


12:58 PM CST: I love reports about deals that aren't happening. Stark says a Marquis for Aaron Heilman trade was discussed but the Mets wanted the Cubs to eat too much salary. (Rob G.)


12:15 PM CST: Stark says Mets, Phillies and Cubs are in the lead for Ibanez's services. 

- The Cubs maintain that they are not all that close on a Peavy deal according to Rosenthal and are considering Randy Johnson as a back-up plan. Rosenthal is sticking with the story angle that the Cubs need to identify their new owner first before any deal for Peavy is completed and have to move the contract of Jason Marquis. They also want their left-handed hitting corner outfielder signed first. (Rob G.)


11:50 AM CST: Rogers calls the deal for Peavy "close", which is always a good time to remind everyone that Phil Rogers is a nincampoop (yeah, I'm bringing it back). Rogers indicates it's a four-team deal with the Cubs giving up DeRosa (to the Phils), Pie (to the O's), and Sean Marshall (to the Padres) and O's give up Garret Olson and the Phillies give up J.A. Happ, both of which go to the Padres. That deal doesn't sound too unreasonable actually, in my humble opinion.

- Roman Modrowski claims to have a friend that spotted Peavy at a bar in Vegas singing "Go Cubs Go!". He also says the Cubs may have to pay as much as $6M to move Marquis and his contract and the Cubs would try to sign Rich Aurilia if they move DeRosa.(Rob G.)

Bumping this back up top as I think we all know that they've crushed Santo's little heart again.

10:34 PM CST UPDATE: Bruce Levine was on ESPN-1000 AM, from his hotel room (soaking his feet) at the Bellagio. All he added was that any Jake Peavy deal might include either the Orioles or Marlins as the additional teams to make the deal happen but he didn't sound like he had info that was recently updated on this. --Cubster

10:04 PM CST UPDATE: Corey Brock on mlb.com says the Peavy trade legwork is done. "There's a package there that will satisfy us. There's a deal in the way of names. It comes down to does Jim (Hendry) have the wherewithall to make it happen?" said Towers. It could be as extensive as a 3 or 4 team transaction possibly including one or both of the Phillies/Orioles. Not much in terms of specific names other than Peavy but at least there are some quotes from Kevin Towers that sound like a transaction is possible, at least meeting the Padres threshold for a deal.  --Cubster

8:53 PM CST UPDATE:  Last one before I call it a day, Scott Miller at CBS also talks about the Phils being involved in the Peavy talks.  Miller says Vitters, Hart and possibly Marquis would go to the Padres with Phillies prospect, J.A. Happ going as well and possibly catcher Chris Coste. What the Phils would get is unclear, although they do apparently like Mark DeRosa and are interested in an established veteran starting pitcher which makes you wonder if Miller misheard about Marquis going to the Padres instead of the Phils in this deal.

Miller states the obvious that the Padres wouldn't be thrilled with getting Marquis in the deal but the Cubs would have to pay almost half the contract and I assume the Padres would look to move him eventually. The Padres and Cubs have also talked about Cedeno and Angel Guzman and Miller says the Cubs are "leaning against" moving Sean Marshall.

8:27 PM CST UPDATE: More from Stark that the Padres are only talking to the Cubs and that progress needs to be made by Thursday or Towers is pulling the plug. Stark mentions it possibly ending up being a three-team, 10-player "extravaganza".

7:55 PM CST UPDATE: ESPN saying the Cubs met with Milton Bradley on Sunday.

6:53 PM CST UPDATE: Rosenthal says the Phillies "have emerged" as the possible third team in the Peavy to Cubs trade talks.

The Denver Post says the Rockies don't have the cash to trade for Marquis.

5:49 PM CST UPDATE: O's are interested in Felix Pie and if I read it correctly, it sounds like the Cubs will only trade him for Garrett Olson if they can immediately flip Olson as part of the deal for Jake Peavy. As has been discussed, Lou isn't too keen on Pie's strike zone judgment.

5:33 PM CST UPDATE Lou is in Vegas apparently, showing off that he's still got his pulse on the game asking a group of Seattle reporters if Ibanez can play right field? Shouldn't Lou be answering that question? Lou seemed intrigued that J.J. Putz is only making $5.5M next season.

5:00 PM CST UPDATE: MLB Hot Stove Blog also talks about the Rockies, Marquis and Jeff Baker and makes it sounds like there isn't much of a match at the moment.

Kansas City is focused on Sean Marshall and Mike Fontenot in talks with the Cubs about Mark Teahen. …

That is according to a Phil Rogers article.

That's great, I'm focused on solving world peace after I cure cancer, which will all happen after I retire at age 35 because the charming widow across the street is really the heir to the Buffett family fortune and appreciates when I roll her garbage can up her driveway on Tuesdays.

Let's just say I don't see either one happening.

The Kansas City Star says the Cubs are making a play for Mark Teahen. This on the heels of a radio report that the Cubs are very interested in Milton Bradley. The KC Star article also says the Cubs have interest in Raul Ibanez, but his cost may be prohibitive.

The Cubs would prefer David DeJesus according to the article, but he seems unavailable as the Royals want to move him to left field and acquire a new center fielder. Teahen though might be attainable. The names thrown out by the author are Felix Pie, Mike Fontenot and Ronny Cedeno.

- Kevin Towers did a radio interview and basically said the Cubs are the only team the Padres are talking to right now. The Braves are out, he hasn't spoken to the Angels at all and has barely spoken to the Yankees. That's the good news. The bad news is the Cubs do have some interesting pieces but not exactly what the Padres want, so a third or possibly fourth team will be needed to finish the deal. There's also an online version of the story from Tom Krasovic.

- I didn't hear it myself, but some folks claim to have heard a report from Bruce Levine that Ryan Dempster will decide in the next 48 hours on the Cubs offer...whatever it may be. Supposedy in this BP article from yesterday, it says he turned down a 4/52 offer already. Rosenthal mentions "the next day or two" as a potential time frame as well.

- Speaking of Dempster, on an XM radio update either Gary Hughes or Randy Bush said signing Dempster is still their top priority but that Randy Johnson would be a great fallback.

- Beyond the rumors...the folks who ran Thunder Matt's Saloon have rebranded to Pomp Culture - less Cubs, more pop culture, no Matt Murton on the Cubs.

I also wanted to mention one of our new advertisers that you may have noticed at the top of the site. Bob Horsch has been taking pictures of Chicago for over 30 years including a huge collection of Chicago Cubs photos. A rather pleasant fella I might add, so if you're looking for some gift ideas with the holidays approaching, be sure to visit his website.

UPDATE: Apparently the NSBB story guy(DonnieD) was vacationing in Puerto Rico, not that he lives there. Apperently some folks at NSBB think this is vital information. I think it's inconsequential. I also think most of the folks on that board have an extra chromosome, especially this genius who thinks Chad's bit of information has anything to do with the NSBB story. They're two mutually exclusive stories pal, I just posted them together - try to figure that out.

So to sum up for the reading impaired, i.e. the posters at NSBB - dude met Jake Peavy at a resort in Puerto Rico and Peavy said he's not going to Atlanta and if he can't end up in Southern California, he wants to be in Chicago. Padres rightfully aren't interested in sending him to the Dodgers and Peavy still would prefer to pitch in the NL.

Then, a completely isolated story was related in the comments by one of our readers, NOT The Cub Reporter or any of its writers. That reader heard something from a source that has been reliable in the past for him. I have no reasons to doubt Chad as he's been at posting at The Cub Reporter longer than I've been writing and Chad may be a lot of things, but he's not a liar. 


 

Oh, the Internet...the wild west of information and speculation has spewed out a couple of beauties for us. First, a fella that claims to live in Puerto Rico relays a story of running into Jake Peavy over on the Northside Baseball Message Boards. Read the entire link but he basically says that Peavy only wants to come to the Cubs. There was a Nike Tour in Puerto Rico this week, so he's either a good researcher who has weaved together a fantastic story or telling the truth.

Then, long-time reader Chad relays this bit of information:

MAJOR GRAIN OF SALT ALERT

My boss has an inside guy in the San Diego Padres front office. Says the deal is done. Just waiting on the announcement.

I will say that a few things that my boss has tipped me off on in the past came true.

Please notice the bold type, but we've known Chad a long time around here and I'm confident he  heard what he heard. It MAY NOT come to pass, as it is a rumor afterall, but I don't have any doubts that is what he was told.

So there you go, if nothing happens, don't blame me, I'm just passing along the information. They are rumors afterall. 

On the heels of the Cubs acquiring Kevin Gregg, reader "jacos" heard on WSCR that Jim Hendry has said that Kerry Wood is pretty likely to have played his last game as a Cub.

Wood wanted a three year guaranteed deal and the Cubs, skeptical of his injury history, don't feel he's worth that much risk. We'll see what the open market has to offer, but someone will take a chance on his talent. You can't blame either side on their positions in my opinion. The Cubs were burned for years expecting Kerry and Prior and others to be healthy, that it's understandable of their more cautious approach. Kerry though had a very good season, really didn't have any arm issues last year besides a blister and after living off a few one year deals, he has every right to look for some security.

I don't think the book is closed, but we're on the last paragraph. Or maybe I'm just reading the appendix now.

I'll keep this brief...

- Jerry Crasnick says the Cubs will be in on Ben Sheets if they lose out on Dempster and Peavy. I suppose that could be an and/or since the Cubs were considering both.

- It seems someone in the mass media has finally gotten around to mentioning that Jake Peavy is a huge injury risk.

- Jeff Passan returns and I mostly ignore everything in it.

- Rosenthal says the Padres now want Single-A catcher Tyler Flowers from the Braves instead of center fielder Gorkys Hernandez. He says the Cubs have given from six to eight names for the Padres to choose from.

- Bruce Miles was apparently on the radio and says Felix Pie and Ronny Cedeno aren't of that much interest to the Padres and they're more interested in Josh Vitters, Welington Castillo, Sean Marshall and possibly some others.

- Rosenthal says the Braves are growing impatient and may pull their offer by Friday when free agency opens up. USA Today says "one team" is demanding a resolution by the 14th (let's take a guess on which team).  Rosenthal goes on to say the Padres have sent counter-offers to the Cubs and Braves, although he doesn't think either team will up the ante. In terms of players involved, he mentions Sean Marshall and possibly Josh Vitters.

- Sullivan thinks the Cubs are offering about 4/50 to Dempster right now.

- The Toronto Globe and Mail thinks Dempster is pretty likely to stay a Cub and says he'll take a discount if the Cubs acquire Peavy.


UPDATE: Buster Olney says the Cubs and Padres are trying to get a 3rd team involved and that Josh Vitters might be in play. I'd be surprised if the Cubs dealt Vitters or Samardzija myself, but you never know.

 

Since the last time I used "Hates the Cubs" in a headline it got a bunch of extra hits from the interwebs, I thought I'd try it again (never underestimate how much the Cubs are despised by the rest of the world). The good folks at Chicago Cubs Online did a pretty thorough rundown of Bruce Levine's radio show yesterday and it's chocked full of information. I covered the rumors in this comment but there's the little tidbit where the Cubs had a deal in place for Brian Giles before last year's trade deadline and he turned it down.

Rosenthal says the Braves are growing impatient...

The Padres are still weighing offers for right-hander Jake Peavy, and
on Friday discussed the possibility of keeping the pitcher if they fail
to receive a satisfactory proposal, according to a major league source.
The Braves, after weeks of discussions, are growing impatient, another
source said, and soon might push for a resolution. The Braves and Cubs
remain the front-runners, with the Yankees and Dodgers on the
backburner. ...

That has to be good for the Cubs, Hendry has no problem waiting it out.

- Jeff Passan returns with his tail between his legs.

They had hoped for the Cubs to include pitcher Jeff Samardzija as part of a deal that could include outfielder Felix Pie, pitcher Sean Marshall and infielder Ronny Cedeno, but Samardzija has a full no-trade clause that he has no intent on giving up, said his agent, Mark Rodgers.


“Under no circumstances are we going to waive the no-trade provisions,” Rodgers said Friday.

The Cubs are tinkering with other players – pitcher Kevin Hart,
minor-league pitcher Donnie Veal and, according to various reports,
perhaps top hitting prospect Josh Vitters and minor leaguers Mitch
Atkins, Wellington Castillo and Jose Ceda.

Chris DeLuca hints that the Padres certainly would certainly love Samardzija, but it would be a deal-breaker for the Cubs.

- Supposedly Kevin Towers was on the radio with Bruce Levine and talked about how well respected Jim Hendry is among other GM's and that it may give the Cubs the leg up in the Peavy sweepstakes.

- The rest of the NL Central is still open for business and Rosenthal says the Cards are offering Skip Schumaker, Ryan Ludwick and  RHP Mitchell Boggs and possibly more for the Matt Holliday. The Brewers are awaiting a counter-offer from C.C. Sabathia's camp.

Oh dear...things should be interesting this weekend.

- ESPN1000 is reporting that Peavy could be dealt by Monday with the Cubs and Braves being the most likely targets.

-  The hot rumor early Thursday was the Braves offering Yunel Escobar and two prospects, but if that is the case, it sounds like Peavy would veto that deal. 

“One of the things we will want to look at some point is,
'Who are you giving up? How much are you weakening your team to make
this deal?'” Axelrod said. “If Team X trades three starting pitchers
and a starting shortstop to get Jake Peavy, that lessens their chance
of being a successful team.”

That sure sounds good for the Cubs chances as the players that have been leaked so far are spare parts (Ceda, Marshall, Pie, Cedeno, Fontenot).

- That same article says the Cubs don't have much interest in Khalil Greene.

- USA Today says it's between Braves, Cubs and Dodgers and even gets confirmation from Jim Hendry that an offer has been made, which is rare for Hendry to confirm such things.

-  A supposed Levine report that I almost feel bad for passing it along, so I hope someone can back this up. The Cubs grand plan would be to trade for Peavy in case Dempster walks, but to try and still resign Dempster somewhere in the 4/50 range. Kerry Wood would still be on the radar at one or two year deal at most.

- Jeff Passan at Yahoo says it comes down to which team will cough up their top pitching prospect.The Padres want Jeff Samardzija from the Cubs or Tommy Hansen from the Braves. Other Cubs that could be included are Sean Marshall, Donald Veal, Felix Pie, Ronny Cedeno and Kevin Hart. Samardzija's no-trade clause is a limited no-trade clause according to Passan, which I did not know. 

UPDATE: Bruce MIles tells Jeff Passan to fuck off. Well not that harsh, but Samardzija does have a full no-trade clause. No wonder no one else knew it was a limited NTC.  Miles runs down some of the possible players that might go in a deal as well.

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.

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.

UPDATE: Looks like Kevin Towers jumped the gun on saying Peavy is willing to go to the Angels or Yankees, as Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod denies the report. Axelrod said Peavy may consider either team but it would require a healthy dose of extra compensation.

CBS's Scott Miller talks about the golf game between Hendry and Towers and throws Rich Hill's name into the mix.


 

- Bruce Levine reported on the radio talks between the Cubs and Padres centered around Sean Marshall, Felix Pie, Ronny Cedeno and Jose Ceda.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's not enough.

The Trib's Dave Van Dyck  quotes a scout saying the Cubs lack the talent the Padres want but has a source that also mentions Felix Pie, Ronny Cedeno and others. It goes on to say that it's definitley Peavy OR Dempster for the Cubs and not Peavy AND Dempster. He finishes it off by mentioning that he believes Wood would be the better bet to get signed before the Nov. 13th exclusive negotiating window ends.

- In a separate article, van Dyck says the Cubs have some interest in Raul Ibanez.

- To add to the fun, Peavy has added the Anaheim Angels and New York Yankees to his list of teams he'd consider waiving his no-trade clause. It does say that Peavy would still prefer one of the 5 N.L. teams he originally listed - Houston, St. Louis, Chicago, Atlanta or Los Angeles.

- Chris DeLuca at the Sun-Times throws the Cubs hat in the CC sweepstakes if he doesn't resign with the Brewers. Greg Maddux is currently leaning towards retirement as well.

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