Why holding one's breath is not advisable at this time
1) There seems to be some sort of informal unspoken moratorium on Major League Transactions until, at least, the Winter Meetings. Owners and GMs are uncertain about how the Global Economy will directly impact them, so as long as everyone sits in their own silos, nobody is going to stick their neck out to, you know, actually SPEND money. Once everyone gets together, someone WILL flinch, and everyone else will move, so they don't get left behind.
2) It is not a rumor - Cubs management is in contact with both the Orioles and Padres. As they are in contact with the other 27 teams in the league. But as berselius and kp point out, with Kevin Towers and Andy McFail in the mix, negotiations will move at a glacial, maybe even a galacial, pace.
3) Then throw in the added confounding element of the proposed sale of the team. Hendry and Kenney are bound, by courtesy, to run any high-dollar transactions past ALL of the prospective buyers, to ensure their approval. Since none of these buyers will probably be Mark Cuban, you would assume much harrumphing by the stuffed shirts that are still buyers.
4) Finally, taking into consideration the asinine stance regarding his No-Trade language by our top prospect (Samardjia) and the alleged 'hands-off' status of some of our most tradeable Major League assets (Marshall and Fontenot), the pool of available trade bait is mighty shallow. Myself, I think all of part 4 is just posturing by our Braintrust, which is in some respects understandable, but it seems to best serve the Sale Value of the Cubs more than it does the Talent Value.
So, therefore, holding your breath while waiting for the Big One that is going to push us over the top in 2009 is Not Advisable. To paraphrase former Celtics coach Rick Pitino, Brian Roberts is NOT coming in the door. Jake Peavy is NOT coming in the door. Hell, not even Raul Ibanez is coming in the door.
At least not this week.