Kicking off the hot stove
Okay, folks, here’s everything I know that’s worth knowing as we move into the official start of the offseason.
Ken Rosenthal says the Padres are going to explore trading Peavy to the Cubs:
After failing to strike a deal with the Braves — at least for the moment — the Padres intend to explore deals with two other clubs on Peavy's preferred list, the Cubs and Dodgers.
Peavy has the right to veto any trade. The Astros, another National League team he likes, have too little to offer the Padres. The Cardinals, the final team on his list, are not expected to make a bid.
The Peavy discussions will resume next week at the general managers' meetings in Dana Point, Ca. The Cubs have long had interest in Peavy, but do not have quality young pitching to send the Padres. However, their interest could grow if they fear losing right-hander Ryan Dempster, who filed for free agency on Thursday but is still expected to re-sign with the club.
I don’t see the Cubs acquiring Peavy and retaining Dempster, so this probably depends on what teams are willing to offer Dempster and what he wants.
Piniella said the Cubs' main agenda these next few weeks will be to re-sign pending free agents Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood and explore trade options for lefthanded hitting and bullpen help. He also said he plans to move Kosuke Fukudome, the Cubs' $48 million Japanese import whose second-half slump exasperated the manager, to center field as part of a platoon with Reed Johnson.
"We don't know if the team is going to get sold this winter," Piniella said, "and I don't see us getting into any big spending in the free agent market. We need to get more athletic and younger and we're probably going to have to fill our needs through trades."
I've been advocating moving Dome to center. Not that I think Lou goes, "Hey, that guy on Goatriders thinks Dome would work out in center. Let's try that next year, shall we?" But hey.
Bruce Miles wants to remind Cubs fans that our best players aren’t trade bait:
First, the Cubs aren't trading third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Yes, he's had two bad playoffs, but he's on his way to becoming the most productive third baseman in team history. During the season, a lot of people were singing his praises as the Cubs' most "clutch" perrformer after some late-inning heroics. Ramirez also has no-trade protection in his contract.
Speaking of no-trade clauses, the same thing applies to first baseman Derrek Lee, whom everybody wants to deal this winter. I got news for you _ the Cubs aren't trading Lee, who took a lesser deal to stay with the Cubs a couple years ago in exchange for that no-trade clause.
Put the above together, and what does it say for the super-cool scenario you just posted on your blog where Lee and Cedeno are traded to the Orioles for Brian Roberts, and then the Cubs sign Teixera?
I’d say forget about it.
And you’ll be hearing about this, so I’ll mention it: some Cubs have filed for free agency, specifically Ryan Dempster, Jim Edmonds, Chad Fox (no, really!) and Bob Howry. Remember, players have until the 13th of November to file, and until that point their current club has exclusive negotiating rights.